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ROSE OF SHARON
M DCCC XLIII.
Miss SARAH C. EDGARTON.
A, TOMPK I N" o' AND 'B. : B, M'U S S E Y.
Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1842,
By Abel Tompkins,
In the Clerk's Oiiice of the District Court of Massachusetts.
PRESS OF WM. A. HALL & CO.,
No, 12 Water Street.
- ,- : ■ • -
y 3 % : S
Accept, dear reader, the Fourth blossom of
our cherished Rose. We present it, not because
it is costly and rare, — gorgeous and of difficult
cultivation, but because we believe it will minis-
ter to your enjoyment, and beguile you of your
cares ; and because we wish, also, that its annual
improvements may receive the meed of your
Our contributors have been unwontedly gen-
erous. We owe them a thousand cordial thanks.
A few gentlemen are missed from their accus-
tomed places, but we trust another year will re-
store them. One sweet spirit has ceased her
earthly songs ; but in this volume of the Rose her
loss will not be so greatly felt. We regret the
unavoidable omission of an editorial article, enti-
tied, " Kate Scranton and her Original," the
design of which was to point out the strong points
of likeness in the characters of " The Dweller
Apart " and her lamented author. We believe
it would have thrown an increased interest around
the latest work of her pen, to have been told
what a truthful and beautiful portraiture of her
own nature is given in the history of poor Kate.
As it is, we would simply remark, that " The
Dweller Apart " is to be considered rather as a
fragment than a finished tale. Ill health and
premature death prevented the completion of her
Once more we take affectionate leave of the
reader, with the earnest wish that this volume
may contribute largely to his intellectual tastes —
that it may soothe hours of weariness, and pleas-
antly fill up many a small void in life's sterner
Boston, August 1st.
The Dweller Apart Mrs. J. H. Scott. 9
Sunset Mrs. Sarah Broughton. 47
The Unfulfilled Mission of Christianity Horace Greeley. 50
A Death Scene... Mrs. L. J. B. Case. 60
The Tale of the Woodbine Miss Julia Fletcher. 62
The Minstrel and his Bride Mrs. Caroline M. Sawyer. 65
Ruth S. C.E. 85
To Come Day Kellogg Lee. 87
Earth and Heaven Miss Louisa M. Barker. 90
The Last Lay Miss S. C. Edgarton. 133
The Unforgotten Miss H. J. Woodman. 138
The Comet Mrs. L. J. B. Case. 140
The Last Look Mrs. J. H. Scott. 151
A Prayer at Night S. C.E. 153
The Convalescent Mrs. E. A. Bacon. 155
Winter and Spring Julius Dodd. 169
Phantoms Miss M. A. Dodd. 172
Leonore. Miss S. C. Edgarton. 174
The Prisoner's Dream Miss H.J. Woodman. 214
The Tempest Mrs. C. M. Sawyer. 217
The Actual Henry Bacon. 219
Scene in a Grave-Yard Miss S. C. Edgarton. 235
Brief Lessons of a Journey J. G. Adams. 246
Simplicity S. C. E. 263
The Lily of the Vale Miss C. A. Fillebrown. 266
The Connecticut Valley J. G. Adams. 293
The Poet's Mission E. H. Chafin. 296
My Idiot Brother D. B. Harris. 308
Touch not the Flowers. Mrs. C. W. Hunt. 310
LIST OF PLATES.
Subjects. Painters. Engravers. Page.
Frontispiece. Connecticut River J. Burt.. . . . .. . .O. Pelto*.
Vignette Title O. Pelto n.
*- Ruth and Naomi T. B. Rbad....,0. Peltox. 85
** The Convalescent Beaume....,.,,0. Pelto n. 155
„.=- Simplicity Sir J. Rztnolds.C. Philips. 263
ROSE OF SHARON
M DOCC XLIII.
ROSE OF SHARON
THE DWELLER APART.
BY MRS. J. H. SCOTT.
" It 's of no use trying any longer to make any
thing of her," cried Mrs. Scranton, putting on
her glasses with an angry jerk, and rummaging
a large work-basket, filled with soiled articles of
dress, for her knitting. " I have got almost to
wishing she were not my child ; and I sometimes
wonder how she can be, or yours either. I am
sure none of our folks ever acted like her about
any thing. I never heard of a Higgins or Scran-
ton wanting to spend all their time with books
and posies, or in running about the fields and
woods, or of being so pesky proud as to want
every thing slicked up about them, as she does.
I am glad none of the other children take after
10 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
her. Ben wont touch a book no more than a
snake, nor Mime either ; and as for flowers,
Hetty pulled up the last four-o'clocks yesterday,
and I was glad on 't, much as Miss Bookworm
cried about it ; for she would always have some
of the flaunting things in her hair, or fingers,
when I wanted her to do any thing, and I was
tired of seeing them. I really wish such a thing
as a flower or book had never been made. It
was but a few minutes ago that I went into the
buttery, where I sent her an hour ago to wash
dishes, and there she was, wiping plates and
reading at the same time. She does n't earn the
salt in her victuals, and that 's the truth ! If we
could only get her off upon some one that does n't
know her ! I am clear out of patience with her
refusing young Jennings ; such a nice little farm,
and a good house and barn on it, all paid for —
and then two of the children could have gone
with her, and saved me so much work. She
has n't common sense, and that 's the truth ; but
they say there is a black sheep in every flock,
so I s'pose we '11 have to put up with it."
At this moment a door opened, and the object
of the affectionate mother's vituperations entered,
looking very little like the animal to which she
had just been compared ; or, indeed, like the off-
spring of the uncouth beings before her.
THE DWELLER APART. 11
a Mother," said she, in a faltering voice, as if
expecting denial or reproach, " I have done the
work; may I take a ramble in the woods? I
will take knitting- work with me, and be back in
u No, not a step shall you go ! " was the an-
swer. " How should I know what you are gad-
ding off there for, every week of your life. I
will take care, and keep an eye upon you here-
after. I have no notion of having our family
disgraced by such a senseless thing as yourself;
and I have not forgot the time you were seen
running down the lane with the finely-dressed
gentleman that Mime said you were so nearly in
love with ; the Millers have n't got done talking
about it yet."
The face, neck, and even arms of the girl
grew crimson at these words. "Mother," said
she, in a voice piercingly bitter, " I have borne,
and had determined to bear, every thing from
you. Such intimations as these, however, I will
not bear. I shall go to the woods to-day — I
shall go to-morrow, if I choose, and every day —
and will return when I like ; but under your
control I will no longer be. Your abuse and
insult have broken the tie between us. I am no
longer your daughter."
Mrs. Scranton half arose to her feet, as if to
12 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
administer the usual admonition of a blow ; but
apparently changing her mind, she sank back
with a loud laugh, and complimented " Miss
Katy " on the fine speech she had made ; while
her father, who began to be roused from his
intoxication by the loud talk of his wife, asked
his daughter if she could not repeat some of the
poetry found under her pillow that morning.
Without a word of reply, the indignant girl took
from the clothes-press a tattered book, a pair of
stockings she was knitting for her youngest
brother, and putting on her sun-bonnet, went
hastily out of the house, and made her way to
the dense forest that skirted her father's farm.
Poor Kate Scranton! Never had she traversed
that green path with such a hurried step or an-
guished heart, before. The quick voice of con-
science reproached her for the language with
which she had addressed her mother, and it re-
quired the remembrance of all the wrongs that
had been heaped upon her from her birth, to re-
concile her to the unnaturalness of her conduct,
or restore a particle of her self-respect. Fortu-
nately for the process of self-reconciliation, it
was no difficult task to recollect that these wrongs
and abuses had, within the past two years, in-
creased to a degree quite beyond the power of
her patient, loving nature to endure.
THE DWELLER APART. 13
It may not be amiss, at this point of a narrative
intended to chronicle feelings rather than events,
to glance at the causes of the scene in which we
have seen fit to introduce our heroine. In order
to do this, it will be necessary to deal with
certain peculiarities characterizing her family,
which, however unpleasant to discuss between
writer and reader, are absolutely indispensable
to a mutual understanding.
Mr. Scranton was the descendant of a long
line of ancestors bearing the same melodious
name, whose habits and dispositions had varied
so little for several generations, as to make it a
proverb, that " a Scranton ivould always be a
Scranton." This proverb was true to the letter ;
for no intermarriages with families of different
breeding and temperament could keep down the
family blood. The specific gravity of every
thing in contact with it was found to predomi-
nate ; the Scranton would come bubbling above,
like water over heavy metals. The eccentricities
of this family were avarice without thrift, petty
meanness in the pecuniaiy department, total bar-
renness in the intellectual region, with a corres-
ponding hatred of schools, and every species of
intellectual and moral improvement ; a total dis-
regard of order and regularity in every thing,
with a tendency to perpetual indolence.
14 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
What seemed rather singular, they manifested
a kind of pride in view of these hereditary traits.
Mr. Jake Scranton, father of Kate, was often
heard to boast that he had never an ancestor
who could more than read and write his own
name ; and his wife (he was fortunately linked
with a congenial spirit,) frequently declared that
her children were all regular Scrantons ; that
none of them would learn their A, B, C, without
being whipped ; they hated books like pison, and
had no notion of being u dressed up," whatever.
These assertions came less boldly, however,
when little Kate had attained her eighth year,
for she had, by that time, passed the stage of
premonitory symptoms, and given indubitable
evidence of having that incurable disease called
a mind. In a word, they discovered she was not
a Scranton, but a lusus natures in the family.
She did not look like them ; she did not act like
them ; she had not the large, turn-up nose, the
wide mouth, nor the sallow complexion, and low
forehead. She loved adverse things — things
that had never been tolerated in the Scranton
philosophy — nature, books, order, neatness, re-
fined manners, and, worse than all, she loved to
be loved ! Poor Kate ! she had better have been
born among the Esquimaux, or, with the unfor-
tunate Riley, gone into captivity to the Arabs.
THE DWELLER APART. 15
Mr. Scranton was the owner of a large, rich-
soiled farm, which had descended to him from
his great grandfather, and which, by his pecu-
liarly ingenious management, yielded his family
bread, and a surplus sufficient to furnish a few
yards of coarse calico and factory-cloth per
annum, and an occasional pound of tea and
sugar, though the female part of the house usu-
ally contented themselves with a beverage of
sweet-fern and sage, without sweetening ; while
the male portion luxuriated in the delicacies of
cider and whisky. The fences and buildings
of this farm, originally miserable, were ever out
of repair ; and all things about it, taken together,
realized admirably the sketch of " Unthrifty," in
the old Webster spelling-book. The windows
of the house, which was a high, narrow one,
with steep roof and broken porch, were always
stuffed with old hats and worn-out clothes. The
kitchen and stoop were let to pigs and poultry ;
and even the " best room " was the receptacle
of tattered quilts, mammoth skeins of tow and
woollen yarn, and ornamented with strings of
birds' eggs, and caricatures of various animals,
done in pokeberry and pigweed, and framed by
strips of shingles, glued together at the corners.
Kate had a remarkably keen perception of the
proper and the beautiful, and the daily contem-
16 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
plation of these outrages upon taste and decency,
instead of deadening that perception, only seemed
to increase its intensity, until disgust became the
inseparable companion of her at-home life. At
the age of ten, she begged her mother to let her
work out ; she felt willing to do any thing to
free herself from the squalid wretchedness of her
situation. But such a thing was not to be thought
of, her mother said. Who ever heard of a
Scranton's living out? Such a disgrace should
never, through one of her children, come upon
the family ; and she wondered " Katy" could be
The poor girl had but one alternative, which
was, to spend as much of her time as possible
apart from her family, whose coarse vulgarities
grew daily more disgusting. To accomplish this,
she begged all the out-of-door drudgery, such as
milking the cows, bringing wood and water, and
even helping her father and brothers in their
haymaking, — digging potatoes, any thing that
gave her communion with the green fields, and
bright, blue sky. Being an expert knitter, she
was allowed an occasional ramble in the woods,
by promising not to idle away her time. These
were to Kate seasons of special delight. She
had learned to knit and read at the same time,
by laying a twig across the leaves of her book to
THE DWELLER APART. 17
hold them down ; and many a happy day had
she spent in this manner, drinking in knowledge
and poetry from every thing around her.
This state of things, however, was too joyous
to last long. Her mother and sisters began to
suspect her of too much enjoyment ; and, in con-
sequence, began a series of petty annoyances
and persecutions which nearly drove the poor
girl to distraction. She was kept closely con-
fined to the house, obliged to do the kinds of
drudgery she most disliked, eat the sort of food
they knew she had almost loathed from infancy,
and listen to conversation that made her delicate
The faults of the whole family were laid upon
her. If an accident happened, it was, somehow,
Kate's carelessness. If any thing was mislaid, it
was Kate's forgetfulness. " She never thought
of any thing but books and fine clothes." Her
books were hidden from her; her few clothes, of
which she was particularly careful, were pur-
posely soiled ; the flowers she planted under her
window to relieve her aching eyes, were pulled
up. She was completely wretched. She often
wondered whether Cinderella could have been
more so ; and then Cinderella's mother was a
step-mother. There was but one comfort for
poor Kate in her trials, beside her little brother
18 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
and pet lamb, which were the only animate things
she really loved. She could sit at her window
by moonlight — not being allowed a candle lest
she should read — and scribble on the blank
edge of some newspaper, in the form of verse,
the burning, melancholy thoughts which op-
pressed her. This would, for a time, relieve her
overburdened heart. It was to a scrap of this
kind that her father alluded, which, having been
discovered by her sister, and deciphered by the
united efforts of the family, had been ironically
sung and repeated to her by nearly every mem-
ber. Kate bore all with the fortitude of a mar-
tyr, until her mother's stinging remarks, when
she inly determined to leave her home, and abide
the consequences, whatever they might be.
It is not to be supposed that one lovely as Kate
Scranton, — for lovely she was, very lovely in
face, air, person, — could reach her eighteenth
year without admirers from among that sex over
which beauty holds such indomitable sway. She
had many in her own neighborhood ; but they
were of the coarser sort, and she turned from
them with disgust. Not so, however, with one
she had known abroad. The only event in her
monotonous life had been a four weeks' visit to a
cousin, living in a city-like village, some distance
from her father's. This cousin contrived, by the
THE DWELLER APART. 19
aid of her own wardrobe, to give the poor girl, in
spite of her rusticity, quite an interesting appear-
ance. She became acquainted with a young
lawyer of some eminence, with whom, almost
without knowing it, she thought she might pass life
happily under any circumstances, so much were
his thoughts and feelings in unison with her own.
This feeling was, at the time, fully reciprocated
by Mr. Herbert. He admired, nay, he loved the
artless, feeling girl, and was on the point of tell-
ing her so, when -an officious friend whispered
him, " a Scranton will be a Scranton." The
spell was broken. Had it not been, a profes-
sional visit at her father's, at the time he overtook
the blushing girl in the lane of which her mother
spoke, would have deterred one of his fastidious
nature from any serious step. Kate felt, when
he had gone, that all hope was over. Neverthe-
less, when, three months after, she read his mar-
riage to another, a pang shot through her heart
which brought her senseless to the floor.
This was not the only conquest her beauty had
effected during her visit. Mr. Staunton, a
widower without a family, an excellent match, as
all the mammas declared, had made her, while
with her cousin, a lawful tender of his hand and
estates, which she unhesitatingly rejected. With
this, however, he was not satisfied ; and she had
20 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
since received from him several letters, urging
his suit, none of which she had thought of an-
swering, except one of great importunity, re-
ceived the day before the one in which we have
introduced her, to which she had determined to
return an unappealable negative.
Now, however, the matter seemed to strike
her in a different light ; for, as she hurried past
the black-stump field which had always been an
especial abhorrence, her features seemed work-
ing with some unusual resolve ; and she at length
exclaimed with sudden energy, " I will marry
him ! There is no other way ; and what does it
matter — when that dream can never come again
— what does it matter what becomes of me ?
Though I may never love him, I can at least
perform the kind duties of wife and sister, and I
shall get rid of these galling chains. I will
Kate passed swiftly the soft red-clover fields,
without once glancing at them, or at the little
lamb who was trotting patiently at her side, and
turning upon her an occasional look of mute
wonder, at not receiving his accustomed words
of endearment. Poor Kate was too much agi-
tated to notice any thing. Tears fell at every
step, and she wondered why people should think
it a hard thing to die. Tears were as natural to
THE DWELLER APART. 21
her as rain to an April cloud ; but she possessed
a wonderful faculty of controlling them in the
presence of others. She was never suspected of
being that very interesting character, a weeping
young lady, though scarcely a day passed with-
out her having a hearty cry, all alone by herself.
The poor girl wandered about all that day
among her dearly loved haunts, like one bewil-
dered. It was quite evident she never expected
to visit them again. She bathed her brow in the
little spring overhung with goose -brier and witch-
hazel ; she pulled the moss from an old flat rock
where she had often sat ; and took some little
white pebbles from the mountain brooklet, and
put them into her book for mementoes. She
walked the dim, shady, velvet wood-path far as
it went, and then clambered up a steep, rocky hill
beside it, till she reached a little recess made of
laurel and birch, where she had often passed the
day in reading, and gazing on the valley beneath.
Here she seated herself as usual, and opened
Hervey's Meditations ; but she could not read.
She gazed on all the dear old trees around, and
down into the little valley, with its low, vine-
covered cottages, and the blue, sparkling river,
winding so gayly among them. She looked off
upon the blue Alleghanies in the distance, their
lofty ridges rising one above another, till they
22 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
seemed like lines of pale, cold clouds, stretched
across the horizon.
" O, that I could stay here forever ! M exclaim-
ed Kate, enthusiastically, as her eye wandered
from one object of interest to another. There
were the small, picturesque islands of the river,
where she had often been to cull anemones and
blue-bells in the spring, and in harvest-time the
large, brown beach-cherry, and low, purple,
dewy wild grape. There were the sloping, peb-
bly banks, where she had so often searched for
Indian arrows, and other aboriginal curiosities ;
and there, the line of tag-alders, where she had
spent many a Saturday morning in pulling silver
tassels from the long boughs, and in wringing
willow twigs to make whistles for her little
brother. Kate looked on all, on every thing ; on
the old spire-like Lombardy poplars, the broad-
spreading black walnut, the little willow-shaded
coves, the strawberry knolls, the choke-cherry
ridges, the smooth clover pastures, all sleeping
calmly in the afternoon sunlight, as if there were
no such things as trials and vexations in the world.
She looked as a miser might be supposed to look
upon his gold for the last time, and again ejacu-
lated, " O, that I might stay here forever ! "
There was one spot, however, still to be taken
into the survey, — the miserable habitation of her
THE DWELLER APART. 23
father. As her eye fell upon this, the events of
the morning rushed fully upon her mind, and she
could not avoid a fresh outburst of grief. It was
sundown when the wanderer reached home.
She was received with rather more than the
usual quantity of taunts and sneers. Of this she
was rather glad than otherwise. It strengthened
her resolution of leaving home, when one kind
word would have broken it.
In the course of the evening, Kate, with
some difficulty, succeeded in mustering writing
apparatus, and framing a note, very little to her
satisfaction, as is usual in such cases, to Mr.
Staunton, her widower-lover. " I wish his name
were not quite so much like my own," mur-
mured she, as she folded and directed the mis-
sive which seemed to her about as much like a
death-warrant as any thing she could think of.
" Staunton ! Scranton ! They sound dreadfully
alike. Kate Staunton, however, is not quite so
horrible as Katxj Scranton, which our people
have persisted in calling me ever since they
knew I preferred the sound of Kate."
We are tempted to betray so much of our
heroine's confidence as will show her straight-
forward way of disposing of a matter which
many of our highly bred misses of the present
day would have refined and metaphorized until
24 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
the actual meaning were lost, and also as a
sample of brevity to those who are in the habit
of having their love-epistles of " linked sweetness
long drawn out." Here is the letter.
Mr. Staunton :
Sir, — I have thought better of your proposal,
lately, and have determined, on certain condi-
tions, to accept it. The conditions are these :
First, the marriage ceremony shall not be per-
formed in my father's house, (where else, I care
not;) second, I shall be allowed, with my
parents' permission, to take with me my young-
est brother, and educate him as I see proper ;
lastly, none of my family shall be invited, or
allowed to visit me until I desire it.
I will not deceive you, sir, in my object for
acquiescing in your oft-repeated proposal of
making me your wife. It is no love I bear, or
ever may bear yourself. My home is disagreea-
ble to me, and I see no other way of leaving it.
(If you think this mercenary, you can act accord-
ingly.) Let me, at the same time, assure you,
that I do not love another, and that I hope to be
able, (if you treat me kindly,) in time, to bestow
upon you the affection necessary to insure, at
least, your fraternal esteem ; and I am willing to
promise the faithful performance of a wife's
THE DWELLER APART. 25
duties, far as I know them. If your mind is not
changed by the nature of this communication,
you can come for me any time within two weeks.
I shall be ready. Yours,
We hope none of our readers will entertain as
harsh an opinion of our heroine, after the perusal
of the above, as she did of herself. "It is too
heartless," said she, in a self-deprecating tone.
" I almost hope he will be disgusted with me, as
he certainly ought to be."
Mr. Staunton was, however, so far from being
disgusted with the abrupt straightforwardness of
the young rustic, as to start for her immediately.
There was the anticipated quantum of astonish-
ment, expostulations, reproaches, sneers, and
abuse, on his arrival at the Scrantons 1 , Kate
having been perfectly secret in her plans ; but it
all ended in the widower's carrying off his prize,
accompanied by the little brother, the family
wisely concluding, after the boy had vehemently
declared that he would live with Kate, and no
one else, that it was best to let him have his own
way, as it would make one less to work for.
The ceremony was performed at the house of a
friend of Mr. Staunton, a minister living on their
26 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
Kate was delighted with the elegance of her
new home, every thing was so rich, so appropri-
ate. It was astonishing with what ease and
grace she bore her new dignities, as if, as the old
housekeeper observed, she were really born to
them. The usual round of parties, rides, calls,
etc., were gone through with, greatly to the eclat
of the young bride, and delight and admiration of
her husband, who had never courted any thing
so much as a beautiful and intelligent wife. It
was matter of astonishment to many, that one
bred in the low manner poor Kate had been,
could so readily comprehend and practise all the
formula of fashionable life, without embarrass-
ment, or any appearance of affectation. They
did not know that she had ever been a dweller
apart, and was no more of her family than if
never with them ; and that her society had
been the ideals of Walter Scott, and J. Fenni-
Some months passed away before the whirl of
dissipation allowed Mrs. Staunton to look within
and around herself, enough to calculate her
■chances for domestic happiness. When she did,
she was surprised to find that many of her old
heart-aches had given place to new ones but
little easier. True, she was surrounded by all
that was refined, orderly, neat. Her fine ear
THE DWELLER APART. 27
was never shocked by vulgar voices, or vulgar
expressions ; her discriminating eye was never
pained with outrages upon taste and propriety.
She was treated with all the outward tokens of
respect and admiration. She was even openly
proclaimed the star of M., and evidently held a
high place in the heart of her husband. What
more could she desire ? Alas for a worldly
nature, God has wisely ordained it shall never
Kate soon looked deep enough into the mate-
rial set around her, to find it all hollowness ;
and she sometimes thought she would prefer
even the coarse, open enmity of the associates of
her former life, to the refined, but secret and
piercing envy and hatred of those of her present.
The unkindness Kate experienced in early life,
from a source whence every one expects the
deepest affection, operated upon her exceedingly
sensitive nature like a slow but concealed poison,
which needed but the slightest accident to de«
velope. A few insinuations from those " parlor
serpents " who crawl into all families, had led
her to doubt the sincerity of nearly all around
her ; and she shrank from their overstrained
civility as if a pestilence lurked beneath.
It required, however, very little fortitude to
bear this trial, compared with others. The
28 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
skeleton was in her own house. Mr. Staunton
was a man about twice the age of his present
wife, highly educated, wealthy, of dignified,
gentlemanly manners, possessing, if not a warm,
at least a kind heart, and keeping up a style of
living almost princely. Notwithstanding all this,
Kate discovered, — that most harrowing of all
discoveries to a woman of sensibility, — that there
could be no congeniality between them. By
congeniality, she meant that understanding which
persons of ardent temperament have of each
other's feelings, as if by intuition ; that oneness
of perception, that seeing with one eye, hearing
with one ear, feeling with one pulsation of the
There was nothing that Kate, from her youth
up, had courted like sympathy ; and it was only
by imagining a kind of understanding between
herself and various objects in nature, that she
had hitherto contrived to exist. If she wept, she
was sure the flowers at her feet bowed their little
heads. If a feeling of joy came over her heart,
the stars understood her ; there was a sweet
smile in their soft glances. She had often
thought if she had a sister, or cousin, or any one,
who could always be with her to reciprocate
these emotions, to whom she could speak the
very thoughts of her heart, read the beautiful
THE DWELLER APART. 29
ideas of her favorite authors, she should be per-
fectly happy. Should she ever marry, she
thought all these heart-cravings must be satis-
fied. Simple, ignorant Kate !
Mr. Staunton had a very large library. His
wife was delighted with it ; but when she began
to speak, with all her enthusiastic heart, of the
dear passages of her favorite authors, she saw
her husband turn away with a cold smile, and
her heart sank within her. But she might be
mistaken ; she would try again. Alas ! his
pulse always ticked with the clock, his nerves
never became excited, and Kate soon found him
to be, without hope of reformation, that horror of
sensitive persons, the man who feels, and speaks,
and acts, by rule. It seemed unaccountable to
Kate how he could be so different from herself;
one who had looked up, from childhood, to the
same beautiful sky, had listened to the same
thrilling music of nature, and read the same soul-
stirring books, to heighten in her mind the effect
of this enthusiasm.
She was often thrown into the society of him
who had awakened her youthful fancy — Theo-
dore Herbert ; and the contrast was so perfect as
to give acute pain. O, that he were like him,
she often found herself sighing before she was
aware of the nature of her thoughts. And then
30 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
she turned from him with a shudder, and won-
dered how she could so far forget herself. Wo
for the woman who finds herself making invidious
comparisons between her husband and another !
she has little hope of happiness thereafter.
When Kate first saw Mr. Herbert, after her
marriage, she took a very natural pleasure in
showing him that a Scranton could be something
besides a Scranton ; for the story had been
whispered to her, and she was not sorry to ob-
serve that he did not think her defects of person
so very conspicuous. But when, upon farther
acquaintance, she saw that he felt a sincere and
rather too hearty admiration for her, she en-
deavored to avoid his presence. This, however,
was difficult. Herbert was the intimate friend
of her husband, and there was, consequently,
scarcely a day that they did not meet. It was
not that she feared becoming too deeply inter-
ested in this man. With all her faults, and they
were many, as the reader has discovered, Kate's
truly feminine nature shrank from the slightest
approach to an unwarranted regard for any one
beside her liege lord ; and she felt that she
could defy the machinations of the powers of
darkness in this particular. But she dreaded the
effects upon her heart as it regarded her deter-
mination of becoming attached to her husband.
THE DWELLER APART. 31
She dreaded the effects of this perpetual contrast
of eloquence with reserve, of warmth with in-
difference, perception with obtuseness ; and she
rightly conjectured if Mr. Staunton were re-
moved from these depressing influences, it would
be a much less difficult task to discover, or, if
necessary, to imagine those qualities which are
necessary to fix and retain the affections.
This, however, was a forlorn hope. There
was not a day that Kate did not find herself turn-
ing for sympathy to one who was — not her hus-
band ; and those bitterest words of a bitter heart,
" Yet I was formed to be
So richly blest ! "
if unspoken, were ever playing upon her lips.
Kate was again wretched, completely so,
when her little brother, the only being she had
ever truly, deeply loved, was taken from her by
death. She wept, she repined ; but there was
one thing she did not do — she did not pray.
Poor Kate ! she found some relief in her old
occupation of penning poetry ; and the world
crowned her with laurels. Her name was a
word of admiration through the land, but she was
still wretched —
She " turned from " all fame " brought, to all it could not bring."
32 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
Her husband's manner grew indifferent to-
wards her. She was not surprised at this. She
had long been satisfied that his first admiration of
her was but a 'passing fancy, and the conscien-
tiousness of her nature prevented her attempting
to awaken feelings she could not reciprocate.
This, with all his obtuseness, he could not help
perceiving. There arose, however, no misunder-
standing between them. There seemed to be a
tacit agreement to avoid each other's presence
as much as was compatible with their relative
Mr. Staunton appeared perfectly satisfied with
having a woman of beauty and talent at the head
of his establishment ; and his wife, with all her
pent-up emotions, yearning to overflow into a
kindred bosom, tried to satisfy her cravings for
sympathy with the heartless amusements of
fashionable life. But again she felt herself a
dweller apart. She was with the world, but not
of it. She talked, she smiled, she visited, she
received visits ; but her warm heart was shut,
the treasures of her mind locked from prying
eyes ; for the world had learned her the applica-
tion of the homely proverb of the pearls, and she
turned from it with her original disgust. She
despised its honeyed flattery, she shrank from
its utter hollowness, and almost wished herself
THE DWELLER APART. 33
again the inmate of her father's wretched man-
sion, where coarseness was not clothed in soft
words, nor cruelty united with deception. Poor
martyr of a mistaken philosophy, dying of thirst,
with all the waters near ! diseased in heart and
soul, with the great Physician bending over thee
unperceived, and thy hand, resolutely, with the
caprice of a sick babe, rejecting his medicines !
How many of the inhabitants of this vast globe
are, at this moment, in the same miserable situ-
It may be wondered at that Kate Scranton had
yet learned nothing of religion. The truth was,
she had seen so much of its counterfeit, as to
doubt the existence of the reality.
In her youth she had been familiar with those
devastating tornadoes called protracted meetings,
whose power was shown in exciting the lower
passions, and whose fruits were intolerance, and
the display of coarse sanctimony. Since, she
had been acquainted with professors, on the one
hand, leading in fashion and wasteful extrava-
gance ; on the other, with those ridiculously con-
scientious regarding every thing pertaining to
dress, style, etc., and rather, in effect, advocating
a falling back into the customs of barbarism.
Kate could perceive nothing spiritual in either
class ; and, without an effort to investigate the
34 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
claims of Christianity for herself, she became the
most unhappy of intelligent beings, without hope
and without God in the world.
It was a soft, cloudy morning in July, that
Mrs. Staunton threw on her calash, sauntered out
of her house, and took a by-lane leading out of
the village, and over a small hill. It was called
the lumber-road, being traversed chiefly by wag-
ons, loaded with boards and shingles for market.
There were many wild, sweet wood-paths, lead-
ing into the dim forest, from this highway. Into
one of these Kate diverged for her morning walk.
She had often taken it before, for, at its extremi-
ty, on a small, cleared plat of grass, shaded by
a large black walnut, was the grave of her little
The land was her husband's, and the child had
been buried there at her solicitation. It was the
favorite resort of her lonely hours. She had
shed her bitterest tears there, — tears of disap-
pointment, remorse, and despair. On the present
morning, her husband had left town to be absent
some days ; and, with that loathing of society
which latterly had greatly increased upon her,
she had determined to pass the day in melan-
choly, beside her dead.
A rude seat had been made by her order near
the grave ; and there she seated herself, with a
THE DWELLER APART. 35
deep-drawn sigh, scarce glancing at the blush-
ing wild-roses that almost touched her cheek.
The country about was uneven, and thinly wood-
ed ; but the trees were very large, and shaded
the softest green grass imaginable. Here and
there were thick clusters of wild honeysuckle,
rose, and sweet-brier ; and, occasionally, the
bright blossoms of the tulip tree were seen, en-
tangled with the dark foliage of the long ivy.
Beneath the far-stretched boughs of a large white
pine, was a small spring, whose waters glided so
silently and slowly over the velvet grass as
scarcely to bend its delicate blades, and empty-
ing its silver treasures into a mimic lake, whose
glassy surface was sparkling with the flowers of
the white pond-lily.
Kate gazed listlessly, despairingly, upon every
thing around her. She felt no longer that flush
of delight which was once awakened at every
glow and tint on nature's diversified page. She
knew that her heart had grown old, that the
freshness of feeling had prematurely faded, and
left her the prey of a fruitless past and hopeless
a I shall never love any thing again," sobbed
she, placing her hands over her eyes, as if to
shut out the sight of what had become indifferent
to her. u There is nothing in the world worth
36 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
loving ! All is soulless, changeful, decaying ;
death is the finisher of all. O, what is life, and
why was I made a recipient of it ? A curse,
and only a curse has it been ! "
" Woman ! woman ! " said a voice near her,
" talk not thus. Life a curse ? I, an old, home-
less, childless man of eighty winters, tell thee,
that whatever may have been thy afflictions, life
is not a curse. It should, and may be to every
thinking, breathing, creeping thing, a blessing,
and the greatest of blessings."
Kate had, at the first sound of his voice,
sprung to her feet in alarm ; but seeing no one
but a tottering, white-haired man, she sank again
to her seat, and resumed her thoughtful attitude,
without deigning a reply.
" My daughter," continued the old man, in a
subdued voice, taking off his broad-brimmed hat,
and advancing nearer, " forgive my harshness.
I had heard much of the coolness of your spring,
and stepped out of my way, a little, to enjoy its
deliciousness, when your words — pardon again
my harshness — came so gratingly to my ear."
His listener interrupted him with a haughty
stare. " My dear child," continued the old man,
in a still more kindly tone, " reserve that expres-
sion for those whom it may profit ; it is wholly
lost upon me. An old man, who has been to
THE DWELLER APART. 37
the verge of the grave with all the bufferings
which sin and misfortune could rally against
him, is not likely to be discomfited by a lady's
frown, especially when that frown cannot con-
ceal that the wearer carries a wounded spirit,
which can only be healed by the words of the
Kate grew ashamed of her moroseness, and
begged the old man to be seated, and rest him-
self, which he accordingly did. She prepared
herself for the usual homily upon sinning away
the day of grace, and striving to make peace
with God while the lamp should hold out to
burn ; but she found it had been a work of
supererogation. The old man never touched
upon those subjects. He descanted, with an
eloquence which surprised his listener, on the
scenery around them, and pointed out many
beauties which her eye, all practised as it was,
had never detected. There was a refinement, a
spirituality in his words, which sounded to her
like the solemn, beautiful prophecies of the an-
cient seers of God, (for her love of the sublimely
poetical had made her acquainted with the writ-
ings of the prophets,) and she listened with
bowed head, while he unveiled to her many
hidden treasures of the metaphysical world, and
until he came to the all-absorbing truths of
38 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
Christianity, when the intense earnestness of his
manner caused her to watch his varying counte-
nance, as he poured forth, in burning language,
the hopes and joys of the religion which the Man
of Sorrows had died to establish.
" My dear child," said the old man, " there
has been dust heaped upon Christianity since the
days of the fathers. Beautiful and elevating was
it then, in all its ministrations. It made no ap-
peal to the lower propensities. It had no cords
but those holy ones of its founder, which every
purified heart was so glad to hold in its embrace.
Even thus it is now to those who can put aside
the veil of prejudice, and look into its beautiful
truths. Search the Scriptures, and learn by the
eye and the understanding, rather than by the
ear and the passions. Were it not for this sun
of our moral atmosphere, how many thousands,
like yourself, would speak of life as a curse, who
are at this moment, perhaps, thanking God on
their knees for its heaviest afflictions. My poor
child, I see that this is all dark to thee. So
might it seem to many who have risen many
degrees in the heavenly kingdom ; but to me,
who, in scholastic lore, am, perchance, the least
in the kingdom of God, it is as plain as the
shining of yonder sun. One little sentence ex-
presses it all, — • unceasing trust in the goodness
THE DWELLER APART. 39
of God. By this have I learned to set at defi-
ance all the ills flesh is heir to."
" Perhaps," said Kate, " the philosophy of
your creed has not been fully tested."
" Has it not ? " said the old man, sadly,
" Listen. I began life with wealth ; it was wrest-
ed from me by fraud, and the wife of my bosom
was murdered by my enemy as the greatest
vengeance he could wreak upon me. I loved
her next my Saviour. My children were swept
off by a pestilence ; my relations deserted me in
my misfortunes ; my friends turned their backs
upon me, and I became a stranger in my own
land ; but my watchword was, Trust in God, and
it carried me through. I knew all must be for
the best, though darkness sometimes settled over
me like a heavy cloud."
" But did you fulfil," said Kate, " that hardest
of Christian injunctions, — did you forgive your
wife's murderer ? "
" Did not Christ forgive his ? " replied the old
man, quickly. " I aided him in escaping the
fangs of justice. I knew that vengeance be-
longed to the Lord ; and even in the exercise of
this Christian requirement, proved the divine
origin of the gospel. I had, according to the
prophecy of the Saviour, heaped coals of fire
on my enemy's head, and he became mine, and
40 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
the Redeemer's friend. He confessed his crime,
with tears of contrition ; and, with the full oppor-
tunity I had procured for his escape, surrendered
himself into the hands of justice, and died on the
scaffold, an humble, rejoicing disciple of the Lord.
Since then, I have had no abiding place, but
have journeyed from country to country, speak-
ing to all who would listen, of the blessings of
the Master's love ; and (I would not say it boast-
ingly) it has pleased God to bless my labors
abundantly. I have seen many a sad heart
made glad by the words of eternal life, many a
despairing soul filled with joy unspeakable from
above. But let me not speak of these things.
I would breathe to thee, pale mourner, a few
messages from him who spake as never man
spake, and his blessing rest upon thee. Think
not I seek a history of thy woes. I know, full
well, the heart-burnings of the worldly ; full
well, the history of all who walk not in the light
of the new Jerusalem. They have no rest, day
nor night, who worship the beast and his image.
They are harassed continually with the sting of
sin, the goadings of conscience, the emptiness of
all worldly things, the fear of death, the horror
of annihilation. My poor child, it was to free
us from all these miseries that the Redeemer
poured out his blood. Has it never occurred to
THE DWELLER APART. 41
thee that his pitying eye might be watching thee
in all thy bitter conflicts ? Believe me, my dear
child, it has. No tear of thine has ever fallen
without his observation and sympathy. He is
ever with thee ; he will never forsake thee, and
waits but the awaking of thy better nature to
reveal all the glories of the celestial world,
through faith, to thy spiritual gaze."
The old man arose. " Wilt thou reject," said
he, with much emotion, " the love of this, I may
say, only friend ? for this world is a cold one,
and it cannot furnish thee such another. I must
leave thee, dear child, but not till I have begged
from him a blessing to rest on thee when I am
The old man fell on his knees. Kate, scarce
knowing what she was about, did the same. At
first, a feeling of humiliation came over her
when she found herself in a position she had
never been in before, and then a blush of
shame that such a thought could find access to
her heart. But the low-breathed prayer of the
kind old man made her forget every thing but
the holy presence in which her soul told her she
was ; and when she arose from the earth, the old
man had been some time gone.
u Is not this all a dream ? " said she, hastily
putting on her calash, and going toward home.
42 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
But the words had impressed themselves too
strongly on her heart for fancy. How fully
were the secrets of that heart laid bare for her
inspection, and how did she shrink from the
survey ! Selfishness — cold, uncompromising self-
ishness — she discovered to have been, hitherto,
the mainspring of all her actions. She reviewed
the events of her past life, and shuddered at the
utter worthlessness of all her thoughts and ac-
tions. Who had been made happier and better
by her exertions ? Who could say she had re-
turned good for evil ? Who could say she had
given consolation to the dying, or whispered
comfort to the sorrowing ? And how had she
dishonored her parents ! Cruel, coarse as they
were, they were still her parents. How had
she, from an unrestricted desire for kindred feel-
ing, rewarded her husband, who had heaped
upon her all the refinements and luxuries of life !
Above all, how had she crucified her Saviour,
if, indeed, she had a Saviour ! but this she has-
tened home to ascertain.
Kate took not her tearful eyes from the sacred
Record till the sunlight shone through her win-
dow ; and how much more beautiful seemed that
sunlight to her than ever before. The night had
been one of prayer and bitter anguish, but it had
worked out her salvation. She had become con-
THE DWELLER APART. 43
vinced of truth, righteousness, and judgment, and
hope threw a sacred halo over the bitterness of
the past; and when she threw open the shut-
ters in the morning, she thought the air had
never felt so balmy, the flowers, and the grass,
and the blue sky had never looked so tenderly
beautiful as now. Resurrection from the dead,
and immortality, found written on every thing !
and an angel voice seemed continually whisper-
ing in her ear, " The love of God — the love of
God ! " Kate thought it was the voice of her
Her husband returned in the course of the
day, and she threw herself into his arms, and
told him all - — every thing.
" Well, my dear," said he, in his usual calm
way, after she had got through, " what does all
this amount to ? "
Now came the first test of her faith. The
bitter waters came bubbling to her eyes, but she
forced them back, and replied with a smile, " O,
nothing, only I shall make you a better wife."
" Who has called you a bad one ? not I, cer-
Kate was glad he turned away at that moment,
for she feared the weakness of her nerves ; " but
no," said she, with energy, " I have tasted the
heavenly bread, and will not go back to the
44 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
beggarly elements ! " And she kept her deter-
How precious now, seemed every moment of
her time ! She had ever been careless of her
health ; now, she was extremely careful of it.
She feared death would come ere her ten talents
were faithfully accounted for. Her first step
was to visit her family, and beg their forgiveness
for her treatment. They could not understand
her, but this gave her no uneasiness. She knew
the day was coming when the veil must be re-
moved from all nations, and they would know
her as she was. She labored to make her home
pleasant to all within it, and she succeeded.
Her efforts did not stop here. She became, in
a short time, all things to all persons, that she
might win souls to Christ ; but this was done so
quietly, so craftily, that no one suspected her
design. She was not known as that ever dread-
ed person who goes from house to house, making
inappropriate remarks on religion, at all times
and seasons. The importance of her object
taught her wariness, as it did the apostles, and
she did no harm where she could do no good.
Silently, but resolutely, did she pursue her
good work, until there was a perfect reforma-
tion in M., without any one suspecting where
it originated. The follies and extravagancies
THE DWELLER APART. 45
of the fashionable class were moderated, for her
vigilance penetrated every where. She feared
not contamination from the sinful and degraded,
but deemed that the field in which her Master
had labored should be the place for the servant.
The industry of the poor quickened, the despon-
dency of the unhappy exchanged for content-
ment, the hopes of the sinful raised and purified,
and the hearts of the sick and dying made joy-
ful, — these were the fruits of her ministration.
There was no good work that she was not ready
to perform, whether it consisted in advice, ap-
propriation of her own money, or labor with her
own hands ; for she knew that there were many
services to be performed for the poor and dying
that money could not procure, and she had
easily disposed of her fastidious notions regard-
ing physical drudgery.
Happy Kate ! when she contrasted the joyous
activity of her present life with the miserable
indolence of the former, she could hardly believe
it a reality. There was one thing, however, to
keep her constantly reminded of it, — her hus-
band's continued uncongeniality of heart and
habit. Yet even this, in time, she learned to
disregard ; and when alone, could sing, with a
smile, half joyous, half melancholy,
46 THE ROSE OF SHARON,
" O, hope not, ask thou not too much
Of sympathy below ;
Few are the chords whence one same touch
Bids the sweet fountain flow."
She learned to be satisfied with those more re-
liable qualities which he so abundantly possessed
— good sense, practical morality, and the most
amiable of tempers ; and would often whisper to
herself, — " It is better as it is ; his equanimity
of thought and feeling is just the proper regulator
for my foolish excitability ; and I am confident
that his excellent nature is winning upon my
affections every day. He is, of all others, just
the husband I need ; just the one my better judg-
ment would select."
She was no longer a Dweller Apart, save from
the sinful corruptions of the world. These she
sedulously excluded from her heart, and lived in
the pure practices of Christianity, as serenely
happy as she had once been restlessly miserable.
BY MRS. SARAH BROUGHTON.
Softly the sunbeams gild the distant mountain,
Veiling with purple light its frowning crest,
Flinging their radiance o'er the silvery fountain,
That mirrors back heaven's richly 'broidered vest.
How beauteous are the sunset-banners, waving
Their glory-pencilled folds along the sky;
While liquid pearls the folding flowers are laving,
And the bright lamps of love are lit on high.
The gorgeous drapery that veils the azure,
Is folded as no other hand could fold,
Save His, who bids the whirlwinds do his pleasure,
And in his grasp the slumbering thunder holds.
Whose chariot rolls above the whirling billows,
Borne by the darkling pinions of the storm;
Whose throne is based on Truth's enduring pillars,
While love and power his high behests perform.
48 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
It seems as if the angel-band, descending
From the bright realms of glory far away,
Their flight to some fair orb awhile suspending,
With heaven's own radiance crowned the parting day;
So softly bright, the soul with sweet emotion
Bows reverently, as if before that shrine,
Where seraphs veil their brows in deep devotion,
And myriad harpers raise the chant divine.
With low and silvery tones the gales are sighing
Their farewell echoes through the quivering boughs,
Like the hushed spirit's moan, when friends are dying,
Ere yet the icy garland twines their brows.
Darkness and shadow o'er the vales are creeping:
Blendings of twilight veil the crystal rill;
The lowly wild flowers, gentle tears seem weeping,
And mystic influences the spirit thrill.
Sweet star of even, on the horizon beaming,
How beautiful thy teachings to the soul!
From the mysterious depths of azure gleaming,
Thou speak'st of climes where floods of knowledge roll.
Like the blest star, that beams in smiling splendor,
When round us sweep the shadows of the tomb;
Wooing us upward, where, in dazzling grandeur,
Love's glorious sun dispels each shade of gloom.
In this blest hour the spirit fondly lingers
Above the hallowed mounds, where sweetly rest
The cherished dead; and memory's busy fingers
Thrill with sad touch the wildly throbbing breast.
And as the rainbow tints are fading slowly,
And night her jewelled coronet puts on,
The spirit trusts with resignation holy,
To meet them on the resurrection morn.
THE UNFULFILLED MISSION OF CHRIS-
BY HORACE GREELEY, ESQ.
A LETTER TO THE READER.
Washington City, May 4, 1842.
* # * It was but yesterday, that I stood in the
great commercial emporium, and listened pen-
sively to the rustling tread of its hurrying thou-
sands. Here passed the slave of commerce, the
devotee of gain, with vacant gaze and introverted
perception, his brow working unconsciously as
he plodded over the thousands he hoped to win,
yet dreaded to lose by some casual turn of the
wheel of fortune ; scanning, perchance, the sky,
to note what prospect of tempest or favoring
gale awaited his vessel now approaching the
coast, hurrying to the bulletin for news, or to
the price current to learn the chance of profit or
loss on his ventures. Beside him trudged un-
heededly the laborer with his swart brow and
stooping frame, toiling on sturdily, though weari-
THE UNFULFILLED MISSION, ETC. 51
ly, through the rugged day, with thoughts of the
wife and little ones whose narrow domicil and
scanty comforts his arduous, unremitted exer-
tions barely suffice to provide, and thinking
sadly, shudderingly, of the period just at hand
when his present employment shall cease, to be
succeeded, he knows not how or whence. And
now, there pass me the lawyer and the broker,
each weaving in his brain the spider-web in
which some poor unfortunate shall soon be en-
closed, and gloating joyously over the anticipated
triumph which to another shall be ruin. But list !
a longer stride, a more heedless air : here rushes
by a reckless, half intoxicated sailor, just landed
from a voyage round Cape Horn, and hastening
to spend, in a few days' riot and debauchery, the
hard-won earnings of as many years, and then
return to his monotonous round as penniless as
ever, and one degree more debased and brutal
than before. There prances knavish bankruptcy
in its chariot, spattering the threadbare garb of
some ruined creditor who goes before on foot ;
here trips fashion in lace : there hobbles beggary
in rags, as, with counterfeited limp and loathsome
travesty of the human form, it whines out its peti-
tion for alms. * * * And now 'tis evening,
and the great avenues blaze with light, as the
windows of the palaces of Traffic flash with gems
52 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
and are radiant with the display of costly fabrics.
The entrances to the haunts of dissipation are
luminous and inviting to their victims, and from
the dark purlieus where they have shunned the
glare of day, the votaries of sin come forth to
flaunt their little season. In the narrower and
less frequented paths, darkness holds partial
dominion, and riot, crime, dissipation, and fierce
contention, have recommenced their reign, des-
tined, it may be, to outwear the night. Such is
a rude and hasty presentment of the moral as*
pects of a day in Christian New York, where
thousands are assembled (very properly and
laudably, I doubt not) to devise the ways, and
contribute the means to carry the gospel and its
attendant blessings into all parts of the globe.
And now I sit in Washington, where the great
and the honorable of the land are assembled to
shape its destinies. Their voices reach me in
my narrow chamber, the rattle of their wheels is
borne freshly to my ear, as they roll over the
The commanding might of mind is here. The
orator, whose fervid utterance in the senate has
reverberated through the vast extent of our coun-
try, rocking the hearts of millions from the
Aroostook to the Sabine, is here. The dema-
gogue, base idol of a multitude's thoughtless
THE UNFULFILLED B1ISSI0N, ETC. 53
hosannas, flatterer and flattered, corrupter and
corrupted, is here — the enchantment lent by-
distance, dispelled by contact — his essential
nothingness and selfish aims gleaming out abun-
dantly through the paint and patchwork of coun-
terfeit patriotism, in which he has arrayed him-
self. The gaudy blazonry of military pomp, of
naval prowess, is here. Here the sleek and
satisfied official jostles the shrinking and cringing
office-hunter from the walk. Still, as ever, amid
the shows of luxury and waste, stalks the gaunt
form of penury and want, pining for a crust, as it
gazes through blazing windows upon the super-
fluous banquet on which thousands have been
squandered. Gliding through, checkering all,
are the dark figures of the low-browed children
of Cain, bearing ever their unmistakable badge
of servitude and degradation. Here, the gambler
and the debauchee — honorable and eminent, it
may be — are preparing to waste the midnight
hours in orgies whereof the speedy issue is
shame, debasement, and death. Such is the
spectacle presented by the enlightened metrop-
olis of this Christian land, whence missionaries
are radiating to every corner of the world, in
this nineteenth century since the advent of the
Saviour. In the long interval, the Christian faith
and worship have widely diffused themselves, but
54 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
where is the Christian idea? Where lingers
the kingdom of universal holiness and love which
Jesus came to establish on earth ?
Where is it? I see around me the stately
and costly edifices in which Herod and Dives
proceed weekly, with scrupulous punctuality, to
worship God in pomp and luxury, as followers
of the carpenter of Nazareth, the fishermen of
Galilee. Christian forms and observances are
thick around me : where is the Christian spirit ?
I recognize it not in that lordly pile ; not within
the folds of that ample surplice ; not within those
richly-cushioned pews, which an humble, thread-
bare stranger may not enter without encounter-
ing a frown, or an African, without provoking a
curse on his amazing presumption. Yet, possi-
bly, in that poor Ethiop's heart the divine emo-
tion has found unsuspected welcome ; it may
glow there as he shrinks tremblingly into some
obscure corner of the edifice, and listens raptur-
ously to truths which not even the preacher
comprehends. Perhaps, in some dingy con-
venticle, its material utterance drowned beneath
discordant ejaculations of folly and frenzy, of
fanaticism and absurdity, the incense of a gen-
uine devotion is ascending, unmarked, to the
throne of the everlasting Father. But is this
the fulness of the kingdom which Christ came
THE UNFULFILLED MISSION, ETC. 55
to establish ? Shall such occasional and solitary-
instances be held to overbear and set at nought
the sad reality of a world lying in wickedness ?
Do we not know that evil and anguish, oppres-
sion and wretchedness, wrong and despair, are
abundant, nearly as ever, among the children of
men ? And is not the world yet prepared to
realize that, in the fulness of the Christian dis-
pensation is contained the remedy for all evil, —
for all that is not incident to our mortality, even
here ? How long shall it be practically regarded
as a form of worship, and a code of difficult
observances ? Why not rather accept it as a
divinely appointed means of entire and imme-
diate emancipation from the ills of our earthly
condition ? Let not the idea be hastily con-
demned as extravagant ; let us soberly con-
When Christ directed the inquirer to sell all
his goods, and give the avails to the poor, —
when he declared that the rich should with ex-
treme difficulty enter the kingdom of heaven, — -
when he related the parable of the pearl of great
price, etc., did he merely utter extravagant
hyperboles ? The disciples did not so under-
stand him, as we learn by their having " all
things in common," even after his death. Did
he propound these rules in exclusive reference to
56 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
some imminent exigency ? So it does not ap-
pear, nor can it, unless the command to love our
neighbor as ourself be understood to have a like
limited and now lifeless significance. Why,
then, should the church, or assemblage of be-
lievers, prefer the interpretation of Ananias and
Sapphira to that of Peter and Paul ? Why should
Christians famish, — nay, why should men perish
for lack of food, while in Christendom is abun-
dance ? Why should believers be driven to
solicit and subsist on the freezing charity of our
political organizations, while within the church
is ample wealth ? This, surely, is directly con-
trary to the precept and example of the apostolic
age. I have not traced the history minutely, yet
I am confident that the first idea of a universal
and permanent provision for the poor and desti-
tute, originated in that age, with Christ and his
apostles ; that it continued a work of the church,
and not at all of the state, down to a compara-
tively recent period ; and that it lapsed into the
hands of the latter through the increase of tem-
poral knowledge and wisdom, and the decline of
Christianity as a distinct and substantive power
over the hearts and actions of men. If so, what
is the obvious deduction ?
But a mere provision for the destitute is not all
that is contemplated by the idea of Christianity.
THE UNFULFILLED MISSION, ETC. 57
In that idea I clearly recognize the germ of a
great social renovation. In teaching mankind
no longer to hate, distrust, and destroy, but to
love and cherish each other as themselves, a
stupendously beneficent revolution was involved.
Alms-houses for the destitute, go but a short way
toward the fulfilment of the great law of love.
Not merely insurance against extremest misery,
but provision for positive and essentially equal
happiness, is implied. And why may not this be
realized ? Why should not the Christian dispen-
sation become the basis of a new and benignant
social order, from which want and wo, fraud and
wrong, discord and opposition, shall be banished,
and the highest attainable good of each member
be striven for and secured ? Why may not such
an order be formed, which shall secure to each
individual not only abundant food, and clothing,
and shelter, but education, also, — intellectual
development, and all the means of rational enjoy-
ment, — requiring of him, in turn, that equal and
just contribution of his efforts toward the general
weal, which the community or church shall re-
quire, and which his own capacities and prefer-
ence (very rarely, if unperverted, at variance)
shall indicate ? And why may not our race thus
emancipate themselves from the bondage of con-
straint, and privation, and suffering, in which
58 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
they so long have labored and groaned ; and,
guided and upheld by the law of universal love,
rise speedily and surely to the primal condition,
while the long scourged and desolated earth shall
grow verdant and beauteous again ?
This is a vast and inspiring theme. I should
not venture to speak so confidently on the hope-
ful side of it, had not loftier and serener spirits
sounded its depths, and vanquished its difficulties.
These have shown that the renovation of society
on the basis of the Christian idea is not visionary,
is not fantastic, is not impracticable. Nay, un-
doubted experience, not merely in the repeated
and enduring instances of the Shakers and other
ascetic communities, but in those of many of
larger faith and clearer knowledge, has demon-
strated this cheering truth. There is no longer a
necessity, there is hardly an excuse for social
evil and degradation. The means of avoiding or
vanquishing them are within the reach of nearly
all. The system of association, or sharehold
property, blended with attractive industry, pro-
mulgated by Fourier, does away the last objec-
tion, that a social order adverse to the present
must generate improvidence and idleness, and
so perish through human infirmity. Its vast
economies will bring wealth within the reach of
all, while affording them the amplest means and
THE UNFULFILLED MISSION, ETC. 59
opportunities for intellectual, moral, and social
elevation and enjoyment.
Carlyle casually remarks, that " a man, able
and willing to work, yet unable to find employ-
ment, and thence lacking the means of subsist-
ence, is the saddest sight under the sun." What
shall we say of a Christian famishing in a land
of Christian affluence, because the means of
earning bread 4s not afforded him in our chaotic
and moving social order ? Surely the soul of
such an one must appear as an accusing angel at
the bar of Eternal Justice against the community
in which such a tragedy was enacted. Yet such
a calamity has taken place even in this country.
Let us hope that the time when it could be is
nearly at an end, and that the knowledge of its
possibility will soon linger only as a fearful tradi-
tion in the homes of the children of men.
A DEATH SCENE.
BY MRS. L. J. B. CASE.
T is evening's hush; the first faint shades are creeping
Through the still room, and o'er the curtained bed,
Where lies a weary one, all calmly sleeping,
Touched with the twilight of the land of dread.
Death's cold gray shadow o'er her features falling,
Marks her upon the threshold of the tomb;
Yet from within no sight nor sound appalling,
Comes o'er her spirit with a thought of gloom.
See ! on her pallid lip bright smiles are wreathing,
While, from the tranquil gladness of her breast,
Sweet, holy words in gentlest tones are breathing;
" Come unto me, and I will give you rest! "
Night gathers round — chill, moonless, yet with tender.
Mild, radiant stars, like countless angel-eyes,
Bending serenely from their homes of splendor
Above the couch where that meek dreamer lies.
A DEATH SCENE. 61
The hours wear on ; the shaded lamp burns dimmer,
And ebbs that sleeper's breath as wanes the night,
And still with looks of love those soft stars glimmer
Along their pathways of unchanging light.
She slumbers still, and the pale, wasted fingers
Are gently raised as if she dreamed of prayer;
And on that lip so wan the same smile lingers,
And still those trustful words are trembling there.
The night is done ; the cold and solemn dawning
With stately tread goes up the eastern sky;
But vain its power, and vain the pomp of morning
To lift the darkness from that dying eye.
Yet heaven's full joy is on that spirit beaming,
The soul has found its higher, happier birth,
And brighter shapes flit through its blessed dreaming
Than ever gather round the sleep of earth.
The sun is high, but from those pale lips parted,
No more those words float on the languid breath,
Yet still the expression of the happy-hearted,
Has triumphed o'er the mournful shades of death.
Through the hushed room the midday ray has wended
Its glowing pinion to a pulseless breast;
The gentle sleeper's mortal dreams are ended;
The soul has gone to Him who gives it rest !
THE TALE OF THE WOODBINE.
BY MISS JULIA A. FLETCHER.
I grew by a lowly cottage door,
And kind hands twined me the lattice o'er.
5 T was the soft spring-time, and the air was sweet
With the breath of the flowers, which sprang up to greet
The first approach of the" radiant queen,
As she lightly passed o'er the pathway green ;
She came to watch o'er her children fair,
And smiled to see me upspringing there.
Then the summer came, with its laughing hours,
To sprinkle its pathway with light and flowers;
It robed the sky in a softer blue,
And unfolded the roses which round me grew.
Fair children came at the close of day,
Around the door of their home to play ;
So I bolder grew, and peeped in to see
What a pretty home that cottage might be.
I have watched o'er its inmates full many a year,
Seen the beaming smile, and the pride-veiled tear;
THE TALE OF THE WOODBINE. 63
The sun looks in through my twining wreaths;
The soft night air through my foliage breathes ;
I witness the joy which affection lends
To the blissful meeting of parted friends ;
And all in vain should I strive to tell
How often I hear the sad farewell.
I have listened oft to the tone of mirth
From the joyous group round the household hearth ;
And in silence bowed, as the voice of prayer
Arose in the power of devotion there.
I have watched the couch of the weary child,
And lulled its rest with a murmur mild,
Till it gayly woke at the dawn of day,
With my wealth of wreathing leaves to play.
I still kept watch o'er the cottage fair,
When a dark-browed stranger entered there;
With a high, stern look, " the unbidden guest "
Entered to bear the beloved to rest ;
The light of joy from that home had fled,
When I looked on the brow of the early dead,
And never more, in their infant glee,
Came forth those loved ones to play with me.
I sighed farewell to the youthful bride,
As she left her home by the green hillside.
I had twined in wreaths round her infant brow;
I had heard her utter the bridal vow,
64 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
And I knew she would leave her sweet youthful home,
No more 'mid its quiet haunts to roam ;
She turned away with a half-hushed sigh,
With a smiling lip, and a tear-dimmed eye.
I see not the forms which in youth's bright hours
Were wont to gather the summer flowers ;
They have passed away from their low-roofed home,
Some in the clime of the south to roam,
Some to dwell 'mid the city's din,
And others the lonely grave within;
Time, with its changes, can ne'er restore
Their infant mirth by the cottage door.
The bird still comes to my shading leaves,
And within their shelter his soft nest weaves ;
The graceful boughs of the old oak tree,
Bend gently over to speak to me ;
The summer roses around me spring,
And the humming-bird comes with his glancing wing,
But a shade hath passed o'er the sunny earth,
For I sigh in vain for those tones of mirth.
THE MINSTREL AND HIS BRIDE.
BY MRS. CAROLINE M. SAWYER.
Bard and minstrel ! What associations of
beauty and delight do those names of another
and long vanished age awaken in the mind ! As
our fingers trace the magic words, what gorgeous
pictures of princely banquets and splendid tour-
neys, of dove-eyed sweetness and queen-like
beauty, of panoplied knights and careering steeds,
float in dreamy and bewildering mazes through
the brain !
In the old romantic days of chivalry and
knightly valor, there was no art more cultivated
and more honored than that of the minstrel, or
minne -singer. The minstrel, with his harp and
his fiery glance of love and inspiration, was
more potent to stir the heart of nations than the
monarch on his throne. Nobles, princes, and
even kings, ofttimes forsook their toils and their
dangers, to indulge in the beautiful dreams of
poesy ; or, uniting the harp with the sword, went
forth, with lance in rest, to do, as fortune might
66 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
direct, good battle for the oppressed, or to chant
the praises of beauty in the bower of their lady-
It was, perhaps, in the latter part of the twelfth
century, in the early days of the crusades, that
this beautiful art attained the zenith of its glory ;
and it is a well-attested tradition, that England's
chivalrous king, the lion-hearted Richard, was
himself a minstrel of no ordinary merit. Fos-
tered and cherished by so great a monarch, the
atmosphere of his presence was the paradise of
minstrels, and he who could weave the lay and
strike the harp with the greatest skill, might bask
in the smiles of youth and beauty, and rest se-
cure under the favor of royalty, without a fear
for the future.
Those were glorious days for the minstrel,
but it was, perhaps, unfavorable to the true in-
terests of the art that its course was so bestrewed
with flowers ; for the flint of misfortune is often
necessary to strike out the sparks of genius, and
notwithstanding all the patronage of royalty and
nobility, minstrelsy began almost immediately to
decline. The noble and romantic spirit which
had animated it was lost ; selfishness crept in to
mar its purity, and it became gradually prosti-
tuted to unworthy purposes, until it was evidently
verging to its fall.
THE MINSTKEL AND HIS BRIDE. 67
Thus more than a century went by, when a
star arose in Mentz, a city of Germany, which
shed a new brilliancy over the tarnished and
half-buried art ; something of the spirit of the
early bards returned, and, in the person of Hein-
rich Von Meissen, seemed about to bring back
the earlier and purer days of song. Obscurity
rests over the parentage of this remarkable
young man, and whether he was a prebendary
of Mentz, a doctor of theology, or a simple, in-
dependent burgher, who elevated himself to the
art from a love of it, history and tradition are
alike undetermined. But, that he possessed a
true and deep feeling for the noble and the beau-
tiful, is undoubted ; and, as he suddenly entered
upon the almost deserted path of the minne-
singer, and the light of his genius beamed out
from the darkness which had so long shrouded
the domain of poesy, all Germany was enrap-
tured. Most of his tender songs were dedicated
to the Virgin Mary, — as the highest ideal of
womanly virtue, — and to the praise of noble
ladies. On this account, his contemporaries be-
stowed upon him the expressive name of Frau-
enloo ; and by this name was he known and
honored by posterity.
The age in which he appeared was ripe for
the manifestation of a spirit like his, as was
68 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
evident from the reception he every where met
with from the gentler sex. The highest and
most exclusive circles were opened to him ;
ladies of the most distinguished rank, the wife
and the matron, the young, the beautiful, and
the fair, all vied with each other in rendering
honor to the enchanting minstrel, the graceful
and high-hearted herald of female virtue.
As might have been expected, there were
many who felt for him more than the sentiments
of mere gratitude and friendship ; but, insensible
to every earthly passion, he seemed entirely
wedded to his art, until, finally, an attachment
sprang up between him and a young lady of
noble birth, and of rare mental and personal
charms. They were betrothed, but the union
was never consummated, for, but a few hours
before the period appointed for the solemnization
of their nuptials, death dissevered the bands of
their betrothment, and the minstrel was no more.
All Germany was plunged into mourning at his
loss ; he was buried with rare and singular hon-
ors, and from a beautiful tradition still extant in
Germany concerning that event, I have woven
the following fragment.
It was a lovely morning in June ; the rising
sun was just tinging the summits of the rocky
THE MINSTREL AND HIS BRIDE. 69
cliffs, which, like giant fortresses, studded, at
frequent intervals, the green shores of the beauti-
ful Rhine. Here and there a truant ray rested
on the lofty spire of some towering dome, and,
reflected from its gilded cross, gleamed forth
through the morning mist, like a beautiful but
solitary star, pausing to gaze on the glories of
the morning landscape. A Sabbath stillness,
broken only by the sweet and fitful warblings of
the wild- wood songsters, or, perchance, by the
thoughtless whistle of some loitering herdsman,
reigned over the green hills and broad valleys of
It was on such a morning as this, in the year
1317, that a young man, habited in the peculiar
and quaint fashions of that day, but in a garb
whose richness and ornaments indicated that the
wearer belonged to the order of knighthood, sat
leaning against the stern of one of those small
boats which are constantly seen on every con-
siderable river, and which, manned by a couple
of indolent boatmen, crept sluggishly up the tide.
He was apparently a traveller, and on the occa-
sion alluded to, seemed to have no other earthly
occupation but to watch the sparkle of the waves
as the oars dipped lazily into the water, an occu-
pation which every now and then, as the drowsy
influence of the scene stole over him, he inter-
rupted by a languid and weary yawn.
70 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
" Are the people all dead in this part of the
country ? " he, at length, in a sleepy tone, in-
quired. " It is strangely still this morning."
The words had scarcely left his lips when he
was interrupted by the sudden tolling of many
bells, whose solemn tones boomed heavily on the
surrounding stillness, and rolling onward, in deep
reverberations, far down the shores of the Rhine,
died away on the distant wave.
The young man started from his dreamy atti-
tude, while the wondering boatmen, with their
oars suddenly suspended in the air, gazed silent-
ly in each other's faces,
" What can be the meaning of this, at so un-
usual an hour ? " inquired the young knight.
The boatmen silently shook their heads ; but the
young knight, after a moment's pause, motioned
with his arm towards the shore. " Let us land,"
said he ; "I am curious to know what is going on
in the city. Steer for the shore."
The obedient boatmen instantly turned the
prow of the little bark towards the land, and the
young man was, in a few moments, within the
walls of one of the most ancient and majestic
cities of the Rhine. Led by the sound of the
nearest and heaviest bell, he entered the street
leading to the grand cathedral, when a long and
dense procession, moving in the direction of the
THE MINSTREL AND HIS BRIDE. 71
church, met his sight. On a nearer approach,
he perceived that it was a funeral train, and that
by far the greater proportion of the persons who
composed it were females. Women of all grades
and conditions in society seemed- united by one
common feeling, and moved by the same all-
controlling impulse. With a strange and un-
wonted disregard of the claims and observances
of rank, the proud and titled daughters of prince-
ly houses moved on, side by side, with those of
unpretending burghers. All were clad in mourn-
ing garbs, and shrouded in veils that nearly
swept the ground. Their arms were crossed
upon their breasts, and their heads bowed down
with a deep and universal sorrow.
Eight young ladies of the most exquisite
beauty led the procession, who were likewise
habited in mourning. They were distinguished
from the great mass by the absence of the veil,
and by a chaplet of white lilies which encircled
their heads. Yet strange and unwonted seemed
the task which they had assumed, for they bore
upon their shoulders a coffin which was gar-
landed with the richest wreaths of mingled
roses, lilies, and myrtle.
But there was one mourner in the procession
who appeared to attract the attention and the
deepest sympathy of all. It was a young lady
72 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
who followed next to the bearers, and entirely
alone. Tall and elegant in her proportions, and
splendidly attired in a dress of the purest white,
she seemed fitted rather for a bridal than for a
burial. Her white satin robe was confined at the
waist by a zone of diamonds, and bracelets of the
same precious jewels shone upon her white and
beautifully rounded arms, which, bared to the
elbows, were reverently crossed upon her breast.
A chaplet of white lilies, like those of the bearers,
rested upon her brow, and over all was thrown a
transparent veil of the most delicate silver gauze,
which, falling in rich folds around her figure,
descended almost to her feet. Her step was
faltering and uncertain, and, with her eyes fixed
intently on the ground, she seemed lost to all
Low, murmuring whispers passed from mouth
to mouth, while the vast multitude, moved by a
simultaneous sympathy and respect, uncovered
their heads and bowed low, as the fair young
The procession entered the cathedral, and the
young knight, who was a deeply interested
spectator, followed it. The walls of the spacious
temple were adorned with banners of alternate
black and white, and the clear light of more than
a thousand waxen torches poured in a full flood
THE MINSTREL AND HIS BRIDE. 73
of splendor upon the spot where the beautiful
young bearers at length deposited their burden.
A deep silence reigned throughout the vast as-
sembly, when the words, " Oremus Domino ,"
pronounced in a rich, sonorous voice, that was
heard even in the remotest corner of the wide
cathedral, broke the stillness. The dense multi-
tude heaved like a troubled sea, as the bearers
knelt around the coffin, and a deep, suppressed
sound, like the roar of distant waters, rose from
all parts of the edifice. A few moments, and all
was again silence, when the young ladies, rising
to their feet, gathered in a circle around an open
grave, where, amid the pealing voices of the
choir, and the grand and majestic tones of the
organ, the coffin was lowered into its final rest-
The sad task was accomplished, the young
bearers stepped back, and the grave was cov-
ered, when a change passed over the spirit of
the music. The voices of the choir had ceased ;
the grand and lofty peals of the organ died away,
and the waving multitudes in that vast cathedral
grew silent as the grave around which they were
gathered, as strains, harmonious as the harps of
angels, stole sweetly on their ear. It was a
prelude to a dirge, and, as the listeners hushed
their very breath to catch the melting strains, the
74 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
bearers, each holding wreaths of mingled lilies
and myrtles in their hands, advanced, and, slow-
ly pacing two by two around the grave, chanted
a funeral dirge. Their voices were soft and
low, and as they blended together in a melody
whose touching sweetness accorded well with the
wondrous harmony of the prelude, it seemed to
the entranced assembly like the plaintive moan-
ings of some forsaken spirit.
The dirge was finished. The bearers, one
after another, dropped their garlands upon the
grave, and, drawing back, formed a wide circle
around it. Silence again filled the cathedral,
and all eyes were turned upon the young lady
whose white garments formed so singular a con-
trast to the sable garbs worn by all others. She
slowly entered the circle, and throwing aside her
veil, knelt alone by the grave. Her face was
turned towards the stranger-knight, who stood
but a few paces distant, and as she clasped her
hands, and lifted her large, dark eyes to heaven,
he felt that he had never looked upon a creature
of such surpassing loveliness. She seemed but
in the dawn of womanhood, yet there was in her
pale, young face a something which seemed not
of earth. Blended with the traces of intense
sorrow, there was stamped upon her lineaments
a look of holy resignation, a seraphic calmness,
THE MINSTREL AND HIS BRIDE. 75
which partook already of the spirit- world. Her
lips moved as if in prayer, but no sound escaped
them, and the young knight saw that tears were
trembling on her long, dark eyelashes. Her
orisons were at length ended, and rising from the
marble floor, she slowly removed the wreath
from her brow, and pressing it to her lips, and
to her heart, dropped it upon the grave, and
turned away. But a sudden emotion, too strong
to be resisted, chained her departing footsteps,
and, turning once more towards the spot which
held all of earth that was left of what had been
so dear to her , heart, she bent her face to the
ground, and, with a wild burst of passionate
despair, pressed her lips upon the cold marble
which covered the grave. One moment she
yielded to the deep torrent which overwhelmed
her ; the next, it was controlled ; and rising, she
paused as if summoning strength to depart. Her
lips seemed striving for words, and the breath-
less spectators leaned forward, that they might
not lose her faintest accents ; but " Adieu, Hein-
rich ! " in tones whose touching sadness melted
the hearts of all who heard them, was all that
she could utter. Her dark, spiritual eyes were,
for one moment, turned in speechless anguish to
heaven, when the shining folds of her veil fell
around her, and accompanied by the bearers,
she left the cathedral.
76 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
The music of the choir again commenced,
while the long train of mourners, two by two,
approached the grave, some scattering flowers
upon it, some pouring out from golden cups the
richest wines of Germany, while some even
drew their jewels from their fingers, that they
might leave them as a tribute of their affection
and respect upon the resting-place of him whom
they so deeply mourned. Amid tears and lam-
entations, the mourners at length slowly sepa-
Anxious to make some inquiries respecting the
interesting scene he had witnessed, the young
knight, as he left the cathedral, approached a
lady whom he had observed as a prominent
mourner in the procession.
" AVill you tell me," said he, " noble lady, the
name of him whose remains you have honored
with so distinguished a burial ? Was it a mighty
prince, who ruled his kingdom with wisdom and
moderation ? Or was it some knightly hero,
who, in the battle or the tourney, achieved deeds
worthy of the arm of knighthood, and demanding
the gratitude of his country ? "
The lady regarded her interrogator with some
surprise, as, with a gentle and earnest voice, she
replied, " Honored be the prince whose hand,
wisely and gently, yet powerfully, holds the
THE MINSTREL AND HIS BRIDE. 77
reins of his state ! Honored be the knightly-
hero whose brave sword faithfully defends the
cause of innocence and virtue, and is ever drawn
at the call of justice ! Honor and fame be theirs ;
but he whom we have borne to this place of rest
was surrounded by no earthly glory. No mar-
tial trumpet heralded his deeds, yet immortal
and unfading are the laurels which encircle his
brow. Wielding no conqueror's blade, his hand
bore only a golden harp, but with this he won
victory and fame in every corner of his father-
land. Know, then, we, have borne hither a
noble minstrel, whose immortal songs have cele-
brated the virtues and ennobled the hearts of that
sex which it was his delight to honor. There-
fore have we wreathed his grave with flowers
and laurels, the fairest emblems which nature
offers to typify the rare beauties of his poetic
genius. Meet it is, that to one who has so
honored us, this last, sad offering of our gratitude
and our love should be rendered. Meet it is,
that with tears and lamentations we should bear
him to his grave, for he has achieved a name
that will live in the book of all times."
" But what is that name, noble lady ? " ex-
claimed the young knight. " Tell me, that I,
too, may do him honor."
" It is a name that has stirred the heart,
78 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
wherever it has been heard. It is the name of
Germany's sweetest minstrel, Frauenloh ! "
As the young knight heard a name so honored
and beloved, he uncovered his head in deep
reverence, and was some moments silent. Then
once more turning towards his companion, " Ger-
many has lost her greatest treasure ! " he ex-
claimed ; " a prince or a hero might be replaced,
but generations may pass and not produce
another Frauenlob. But tell me, if I trespass
not too much on your kindness, who is the fair
young creature in bridal robes ? methinks her
spiritual loveliness is not meet for this world."
" It is the minstrel's bride, the beautiful Er-
mengarde Van Erstein, the fairest and best who
was ever betrothed to noble lover. She had
given her hand with all her young heart to him
whom, with so much sorrow, we have laid in
yonder grave. They were publicly betrothed,
but the day which was to have witnessed their
bridals numbered him among the dead. Well
may she mourn his loss, for who is like him."
The eyes of the lady were suffused with tears,
and, drawing her veil over her face, she turned
away, while the young knight paced musingly
along towards the gates of the city, when turning
to look once more upon the consecrated pile
which had been the theatre of so interesting a
THE MINSTREL AND HIS BRIDE. 79
scene, he beheld a solitary figure, veiled in white,
gliding towards the cathedral. He paused to
look after her, until she vanished within its walls,
when, breathing a silent petition for her happi-
ness, he left the city. But often, during his
solitary journeyings on the Rhine, and his brief
sojournings in the crowded cities of other lands,
did the image of that youthful and stricken bride
rise up before him ; and often, too, did the
mournful echo of her last " adieu Heinrich,"
mingle in the visions of his midnight slumbers,
and fall like a knell upon his heart.
A year went by, and the young knight, after
many wanderings, stood once more within the
walls of the time-honored city of Mentz. It was
at the same early hour as that in which he had
entered it before, and, strange coincidence, a
tolling bell, as on that memorable occasion,
boomed in sacl solemnity on his ear. Secretly
wondering at the singularity of the circumstance,
he involuntarily turned his footsteps in the direc-
tion of the cathedral, when, — was he in a
dream — or did he behold the same funeral
train which had met his vision, when, one year
before, the minstrel was borne to his last earthly
dwelling? There were the eight young ladies
crowned with white garlands still leading the
80 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
procession, but the coffin which they then bore
was exchanged for a funereal urn, entwined
with laurels and roses. There was the same
graceful girl clad in her bridal robes, but her
step was now far more slow and feeble, and she
leaned on the arm of a young lady for support.
The young knight remembered that it was the
anniversary of the minstrel's burial, and instant-
ly conjectured that the scene he now beheld was
in commemoration of that melancholy event.
Anxious to look once more upon that lovely face
which had followed him through all his wander-
ings since he had first beheld it, he hurried to
the cathedral, and entering it before the funeral
train, stationed himself near the minstrel's grave.
It was adorned with many a withered garland,
and his heart swelled with emotion as he re-
membered by whose hand they had probably
been placed there. The procession soon en-
tered, and services nearly resembling those he
had witnessed on the former occasion were per-
formed. The urn was deposited upon the grave,
and the same sweet dirge which had so thrilled
his heart before, was chanted by the plaintive
voices of the young bearers, while flowers of
every lovely hue and delicate odor were scat-
tered upon the grave.
The services were nearly concluded, and the
THE MINSTREL AND HIS BRIDE. 81
widowed bride, with a faltering step, approached
the grave. She drew aside her veil, and her
face was a second time revealed to the young
knight ; but how was he startled at the change.
It had lost nothing of its seraphic expression, but
the beautiful fulness of the contour was all van-
ished. The large, dark eyes wore a startling
brightness, and a changing flush on the wasted
cheek told a tale that all shrunk from perusing.
The white arms, around which the jewelled
bracelets now loosely hung, had lost the exquisite
symmetry of their proportions, and they who
looked upon her felt that her separation from her
minstrel-lover would not be long. She knelt
down, and as she lifted her folded hands in
silent devotion, the waiting multitudes around
her believed that they beheld a being already
more allied to the spirit-world than to this. Sud-
denly the deep silence was broken by a startling
strain of music. The organ was touched by a
master's hand, and a prelude, low, sweet, and
spiritual, such as sometimes steals upon the en-
raptured soul until we fain believe we listen to
the vibrations of an angel's harp, breathed in
ravishing harmony through the long arches of
It was a passage from a favorite composition
of Frauenlob, and one to which Ermengarde had
82 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
often listened in the happy days of her betroth-
ment. She had never before heard it played by
any hand save his, and strong and deep was the
emotion it now awakened. Her whole frame
trembled, a bright rose color settled in her
cheeks, and her very breath seemed suspended,
as the entrancing strains alternately swelled and
died upon the ear. At this moment, a flood of
sunlight poured through the richly-stained win-
dow full upon the minstrel's grave, and upon the
kneeling figure of Ermengarde. Bewildered by
the sudden brightness which enveloped her, and
lost in the harmony and sweetness of the well-
remembered music, she hailed them as tokens of
the presence of some supernatural visitant.
" Heinrich ! " she exclaimed, in tones of
piercing sweetness, " Heinrich, my beloved, is
it thou ? Thou didst promise to be with me ere
I departed, and behold thou art here ! The soft
strains of thy angel-harp are floating around me !
Thou art calling me in a voice that I love ! I
come to thee, my beloved ! I come ! "
She stretched forward her arms as if to em-
brace the ethereal form she believed so near her;
a smile of more than mortal sweetness rested
upon her countenance, her head drooped upon
her breast, and, as the young bearers sprang
forward and received her into their arms, they
THE MINSTREL AND HIS BRIDE. 83
started at their burden — it was a mould of beau-
tiful but breathless clay !
Strongly tinctured with the superstitions of the
age, and inclined, by a poetic temperament, to
fanciful imaginings, she had died in the belief
that the spirit of her minstrel-lover, revealed in
the burst of sunlight, was summoning her in
celestial music to his side.
They laid her by the side of her betrothed,
happier in her death than she had been in her
separation. And let us believe that the spirits of
the departing have visions and revealings from
the spirit-land which we know not of, but which
shed the glory of a brighter world over the hour
A monument to the noble Frauenlob formerly
stood in the cathedral of Mentz. It was beauti-
fully sculptured in white marble, and represented
a minstrel in a recumbent posture, with a harp
by his side, a crown of laurels on his brow, and
surrounded by eight young ladies holding over
him a funereal urn. In the year 1744 it was
destroyed by the carelessness of some workmen
who were engaged in repairing the cathedral.
But in the year 1783, Vogt, a favorite historian
of Germany, and one very curious and industri-
ous in his researches into the early histories of
84 THE EOSE OF SHARON.
the Rhine, procured, by his influence, a new
monument to be erected to the minstrel near the
place of the old one. It still stands, a memorial
of the power of song, and of the gratitude of
MOTM ill KAWMX.
" Entreat me not to leave thee." — Ruth i. 16,
Entreat me not ! I cannot go,
Dear mother, from thy side ;
From thee, whose love hath been my stay,
Since gentle Chilion died.
O, ever true, and ever kind,
Hath been thy matron heart ;
And now that thou art lone and poor,
We ne'er again will part.
Where'er thou goest, I will go,
Where'er thou diest, die;
Together in one humble grave,
Our kindred dust shall lie.
And I will love thy Bethlehem friends, — *
Thy people shall be mine j
And we will kneel to praise one God,
Before one common shrine.
86 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
Our souls — ah, what shall part our souls?
In ties of love entwined,
They will defy the spells and chains
That even death can bind.
Then let me labor at thy side,
And soothe thine aged years;
I cannot leave thee, widowed friend,
To solitude and tears.
s. c. E.
BY DAY KELLOGG LEE.
Sermon of eloquent warning !
Carol, the stars are all playing!
Warble, that melts from the lip of the morning!
Quaver, from seraph-harps straying !
Thrilling expectancy ! waking sweet voices
In every bosom where intellect warms ;
O, how my young spirit springs up, and rejoices,
To breathe out its melody, drink in its charms!
What heart is not struggling? Whose spirit is dumb?
When all things are chanting the anthem — to come !
Life is the pathway that windeth.
God's holy mount to his palace ;
Infancy wakes at the bottom, and flndeth
There, e'en, a rose-mingled chalice.
The nectar is tasted — that glad little being
Is lifting a finger to blossoms above ;
Time brings a fresh morning — the prattler is seeing
Delights that are kindling a sunnier love ;
And as riper enchantments send down their wild hum,
The laughing child panteth for pleasures — to come!
OO THE ROSE OF SHARON.
Youth trips along in her ramble,
Careless of sorrow and blisses;
Now crushing a daisy; now pulling a bramble:
Now meeting rebuffs, and now, kisses.
With many things lovely her pathway is woven,
Bright sunbeams are glancing wherever she turns;
And here she might linger, where pleasure hath proven
A light, than all others, that rosier burns.
But here's not her dwelling-place, here's not her home.
And the breath of her spirit still whispers — to come !
Age hath few charms for the tourist,
Few scenes the rough pathway beguiling;
Joys that were richest in childhood, are poorest ;
Faith, Hope, and Love now are smiling.
Love looketh down upon them that come after;
Faith gazeth up to the summits afar ;
Hope is on wings that exultingly waft her
Up from the scenes where disquietudes are ;
The angel of death lifts the gate of the tomb,
And the soul springeth upward to raptures — to come !
Spirits of all that are sleeping
Throng the next height of the mountain ;
Dear ones their tender communings are keeping
There, by Life's holier fountain !
The round of beatitude windeth them higher,
TO COME. 89
Perfection, and glory, and beauty increase;
Hope lifteth new pinions, Faith sweeps a new lyre,
And melodies wake that are never to cease :
And, as all catch a vision of seraphim's home,
Those harp-strings trill sweetly of blisses — to come!
All circle up with hosannas
To this holy summit, and linger,
Till God and his angels descend with their banners :
Then Christ lifts the gate with the finger
That long hath been pointing to rapturous glories,
And all soar away to the home of the soul,
To mingle with seraphim, list to their stories,
And breath hallelujahs where bright waters roll !
And as all through the gardens of Paradise roam,
They still sing of glories and beauties — to come!
EARTH AND HEAVEN.
BY MISS LOUISA M. BARKER.
The ideal world, dear Sarah, is not all " such
stuff as dreams are made of." Why should it
be, when half of what we term the real is im-
palpable to mortal sense ?
It is not the village life beneath my window
that interests me now. It is a home so quiet,
that the noisy world is scarcely dreamed of
there ; " an eye all hazy and soft with thought,"
resting upon mine in perfect confidence ; wan-
derings among autumn flowers, and under clus-
tering vines ; and breathless listenings to the
singing of a wild brook, for whose tones there
is no imitation in music, And this is no scene
in the world of imagination. The whole deli-
cieuse is actually a fragment of the past ; yet for
all that the eye may now rest upon, if it gaze
ever so far, or all that the ear may catch, even
if it listen, I might as well have dreamed it
yesternight. Why, then, should our imaginings
be all unreal ? If the beauty that we gaze upon,
EARTH AND HEAVEN. 91
the breathing form that we hold in our embrace,
and the words that fall upon the listening sense
like a strain of melody, may appear, through the
magic of time, but the pageant and the voice of
a vision, why may not the beings of the fancy
find embodiments among the actual and the
present of our lives ? Ask the heart if its dear
ones owe not the perfection of their virtues, and
the purity of their loveliness, to the glory they
have borrowed from the light of its own crea-
I must have told you, in some of our hill and
brook-side rambles, of one whom I wish you to
see now, half enveloped in the drapery of an
open window, and looking out upon one of the
ten thousand beautiful scenes in the land of our
earthly home. It may be, that it made the hap-
piness of a summer hour in memory, to listen to
the conversation which I am about to relate ; and
it may be, that in some imaginative moment, I
have given to the pure-minded being, whose
name I must have blended with the rural melo-
dies of your country home, the blessed task of
scattering sunshine and roses upon the pathway
of a departing spirit. It matters not which.
There would be the same mingling of the reali-
ties and the dreams of life in either. The same
power to charm, to soothe, and to satisfy, which
92 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
comes only from the mysterious union of that
which we see with the material sense, and that
which we see not but with the spiritual ; the
present and the removed, the earth and heaven
of our being.
" It is not fair in you to stand so long alone
by that open window, and looking so happy.
Sick as I am, it could not hurt me to breathe the
air which has given to your face an expression
so radiant. And yet," continued the invalid, as
she leaned upon the support so instantly afforded
her, " if visions of earthly happiness have been
called up by the scene on which you have been
gazing, I ought to fear its influence."
" Fear it not, dear one. I came here to
sorrow for your sake, but the feeling has been
rebuked." And she whispered over the brow of
the fragile form she held, " O, fear not thou
to die ! "
" I do not fear as many do. Eternity, to our
beautiful faith, is not filled with frightful forms
and unimaginable horrors. Nor do I dread a
nearer approach to that Being, in the manifesta-
tions of whose power I have ever seen even less
of majesty and might than of mildness and mercy.
But I do fear, or, rather, I am unreconciled to
leave a world which I feel myself so fitted to
enjoy. To leave it, too, with the balm of its
EARTH AND HEAVEN. 93
summer breeze bathing my lips, and the music
of its ' viewless harps ' floating into my spirit,
and calling up there such sweet response ; and
all this but the prelude to what might be, could I
linger on to the glorious autumn-time of earthly
life. Gems and flowers have reflected to me the
light of its spring landscape ; and O, the peopling
of its shadows, and the gentle voices ! Look at
the green verge of the wood upon yonder up-
land. Far up in its dim aisles, the leaves are
stirred by the breath of invisible beings, more
worthy to be clothed in the glorious forms of
imagination than the half human dwellers of the
Grecian woods : the loves, the joys, and the
graces of a purer age than theirs. Dear Mary,
I will kneel with thee, in grateful adoration, at
the morning and the evening service ; I will be
happy in anticipation of the future life that is
promised us ; but why may I not stay in this
earthly abode, and make to myself deities of the
lovely and the pure, nor go hence, till I can
render fitting homage to the immaculate perfec-
tions of the only Eternal ? "
" Say, rather, to stay, and study and adore, a
little longer, those perfections, as revealed to us
in this life, if it be his will ; but set no image in
the place of the 'Holiest of Holies.' 'Thou
shalt have no other gods,' commands the respect
94 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
due to supreme sovereignty. "Was it not also
given to save us from the bewilderments of idol-
atry ? I have often thought, how rich the reve-
lation of truth must have been to the mind of the
believing Areopagite, when he heard the eloquent
apostle to the Gentiles proclaim ' the God that
made the world, and all things therein.' What
a splendid pageant for the mental eye, when the
worshipped ones of visionary Greece, the high
Olympian gods, and all the less powerful divini-
ties of the earth and the sea retreated before the
majesty of heaven and earth, — the one adorable
Spirit that fills the universe. Yet now it seems
to me that the experience might be very much
the same to many who have received a Christian
education, could they give up at once all their
little idolatries, and feel that the Creator himself
is the indwelling spirit of all those forms of puri-
ty, and grace, and happiness, which they now
" But how are we to prevent our imaginations
from seeking to animate these forms with the
impulses of an individual life, higher and purer
than earth's, and demanding reverence, as well
as affection ? We have not the ethereality of a
spirit ; we have not even ' the wings of a dove.'
We cannot sever the invisible chain that binds us
down to earth, and why should not the gravi-
EARTH AND HEAVEN. 95
fating influence affect even the mind ? The
thought, indeed, may go abroad to the immacu-
late and the eternal ; it may revel in dreams,
pure as a moonlighted palace of the frost-king
upon some Arctic shore, or rich as the cloud-
wrought drapery of a summer sunset in our
warmer clime. It may visit stars and ages, in
its course ; but its flight will soon be weary, and
it must return to its local home. How oppres-
sive will be the solitude there, if it return alone.
And is it strange that it should wish to impart to
the forms that want only the spiritual to become
the household deities of the soul, some portion of
the Promethean fire it has gathered in its daring
flight ? So Numa went away from the converse
of mankind, to commune with Egeria and her
sister spirits ; so he returned to the world he had
left, bringing with him divinities to inhabit those
glorious forms of humanity, — the gods of the
heathen temples. c La figure humain divinizee
par la Paganisme, comme les sentiments de
Fame le sont maintenant par le Christianisme.' "
" There is a sweet and pure philosophy in
your thoughts, but, like most of our philosophy,
it needs that the false should be separated from
the true, and that the true be made applicable
to the purposes of life, and practical, by its .
active energies. I like not that imagination
96 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
should be denounced as bewildering by the good,
and as lawless, by the gentle. To me, it seems
that those who speak of it thus, know not its
" If you know that use, teach it to me. The
best lessons I have ever learned have been from
your lips. Tell me what influence you would
allow it over yourself; and if you deem it not
wise to speak of it to me, in relation to this life,
tell me, at least, how far I may trust it in my
musings of another."
" Of both, my dear friend. But stay, one
moment ; I will move the sofa nearer to the
window ; there, sit down by me, and I will sup-
port you, that you may not be weary. You
can see the beautiful green woods up against
the blue sky, the sloping hillside below, and
glimpses of rippling waters among the meadow-
groves at its foot. Sweet odors, and far-off
sounds, come mingled upon the breeze that
breathes so gently around us. Is it not a deli-
cious scene, and a delicious hour? Listen, now,
to a tale of the world thou lovest, — a tale of
' A world whose brightest hues reflect
The light of distant orbs.'
" Just in the border of the remnant of a wide
EARTH AND HEAVEN. 97
old wood was a scene of exquisite beauty. Un-
derneath the spreading branches of a large tree,
and opening out upon a rich tract of cultivated
country, lay a little spot of mossy and carpet-
like verdure. A low bank of earth, spread with
the same delicate covering, rested against its
huge base. Flowering vines trailed to the
ground from the intermingling boughs of neigh-
boring trees, and, with their lighter and more
graceful trunks, formed long avenues, leading
away into the depths of the woodland, till the
eye was lost in the dimness. Before it, rolled on
a shining river, and within the view, were distant
mountains, green fields, groves of trees, rural
homes, and the confines of a populous city."
" You tell me not where."
" On earth, ma belle. Is not the picture
earthlike ? And if it be, what matter for the
c where ? ' What matter if that river be the
' silver Arno,' the spirit-haunted Rhine, or one of
the Atlantic-bound of our own beautiful land ?
Perhaps that city bears witness, in its ruins, of
the magnificence of ' the olden time ; ' perhaps,
like some amid our fair savannas, it can boast
no more than a yesterday's date ; or, it may be
one whose dwellers, coming down through ages,
from some renowned race, are struggling to
preserve the poetry of the past from the innova-
tions of modern improvement."
98 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
" I had rather it should be one of these."
" And so had I. But I was telling you of
a beautifully designed entrance to a magnifi-
cent temple, reared and consecrated by nature.
There was a worshipper within. A bright form
of humanity, enshrouding a gifted youthful spirit,
leaned, in thoughtful attitude, upon its low altar.
It was no penitent, seeking, by sweet draughts
from the fountains of purity and peace, to clear
out from its choked- up passages ' the perilous
stuff that weighs upon the heart.' A guileless
life knows not the passion of remorse. Nor was
it one who had read divinity, alike in the sun-
beam and the starlight, till a joyous peace had
settled down upon his soul, and his onward steps
were cheered by ' the light that shineth more
and more unto the perfect day.' Nor peaceful
rest, nor cheering light, blesses the anxious, but
baffled searcher after truth.
" The sun had sunk behind the shadow of the
foliage, at the western point of the landscape, but
a single gleam struggled through, and glanced
horizontally upon the motionless form of the
student of nature. There might have been a
revelation in that ray, or perhaps he heard a
light footstep, for he looked up, and saw a fe-
male figure come out of the wood, on one side
of the recess, and stay her step just within its
EARTH AND HEAVEN. 99
leafy enclosure. I shall not talk to you of
flowing robes, and gliding motion like that of a
sylph, and features radiant with the light of the
soul, for you will naturally imagine all these, for
this visitant. Nor will I tell you to what order
of intelligences she belonged. Were she more
than mortal, we must clothe her in the habili-
ments of humanity till our earthly intercourse
with her is ended ; and were she no more than
one of us, except in her superior virtue, and
superior charms, we can well believe that we
have not seen the perfection to which our human
nature might attain, could the young blood be
kept pure from the contagion of a sin-sick world,
and the young heart free from its defilements.
But whether she were messenger from other
sphere, or mortal, or muse, he addressed her
fearlessly, though with deep respect.
" ; You promised to meet me, but I knew not
the time or the place.'
" ' The time,' she replied carelessly, ' is soon
enough, and the place is most fitting. But why
was I to seek this interview, when I knew not
the motive of your request ? '
" ' If you will be seated,' said he, and pointing
to the turf from which he had just risen, ' I will
explain my motive, by making you acquainted
with the perplexities of my life. This seat may
100 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
be all unlike the sumptuous couches in the
palaces of yonder city, but if we believe the
legends, may not brighter beings than those who
recline there, beings with natures better allied
to thine, fair lady, have rested here.'
" Twining her arm within a slender branch
of the vine at her side, and leaning gracefully
upon it as if for support, she replied to his in-
quiry, ' I am not weary, and I will listen. Be
as brief as the hour demands.' There was a
gentle decision in her tone and manner, and with
a readiness which checked his rising emotion, he
" ' My home is a cottage upon the side of the
mountain which overlooks the city, and those
who serve me there, call me Alhamil. I know
nothing of my parentage, or of the home of my
birth. My first well-defined recollections are of
a place beautiful as our dreams sometimes are,
filled with sunny spots of rich verdure, crossed
by shadowy walks, groves of old trees, twilight
with their massy foliage, mimic lakes, water-
falls, and banks of flowers. All day long I
watched the shining fish in the little coves at the
side of the streams, or chased bright-winged in-
sects, even to the wall which closed in my
paradise ; or shouted to the song of the bird, in
the tree-top, happy, though alone, and almost as
EARTH AND HEAVEN. 101
wild as the untamed society in which I lived.
But the storm sometimes came, and the night
always, and then I returned as reluctantly as I
might, to the shelter of the home I had left.
The mansion-house of these grounds was filled
with luxuries, and there was kindness there, to
supply all my wants ; but never the tone of ten-
derness, and the look of solicitude, which I have
since noticed, in those who care for childhood.
There was sorrow in the hearts of its inmates,
long continued sorrow. I had no tears for that,
for I had never listened to the story of its cause ;
and when the gloom was deepest, the more neg-
lected grew my lot, and the more joy was mine,
to woo again, to the only sense which life had
then awakened, the blended touch of the sunshine
and the breeze. Sometimes, though very rarely,
curiosity led me to the highway, and once or
twice I rambled on to the outskirts of the town ;
but the bustle and the strange manners soon
wearied me back to my solitary sports. I avoid-
ed even the laborers at work in the grounds. I
had no communings with humanity, but deeper,
day by day, grew my love, and more enthusiastic
my worship of nature. Alas, for my apostasy.
These fields are green, these skies are blue, and
these waters are limpid, but the charm is not
102 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
here. I sometimes think that I was dreaming of
a brighter world, and that this is earth.'
" Alhamil paused, for there was a smile on the
face of his listener. Perhaps he only fancied it,
or had it passed away so soon, and so entirely ?
" ' I was told, one morning, that on the next, I
must leave my home, and go a long distance to
another. The time will not allow me to dwell
on the grief of that day, — my first grief. It is
enough to say, that as I had no communications
for joy, so I had none for sorrow, and it passed.
We went rapidly onward. The companion of
my journey had reached the age of early man-
hood. I had seen him often, but he had always
worn a look of grief, and his manner, to me, had
been ever cold and repulsive. He seemed in-
clined to notice me now, but I was interested in
other things, and paid but little attention to his
remarks. I had never dreamed that the great
world into which I was so reluctantly forced was
filled with beauty, — the very beauty that had
won my earliest love. How strange that I should
be gazing upon the same forms, the same hues,
and how irresistibly they led me back to happi-
ness and hope. How delightedly I traced the
windings of the stream, till distance, or some in-
tervening object, hid it from my view. How
eagerly my eye ran up to the summit of the hill,
EARTH AND HEAVEN. 103
how familiarly it peered into the thicket. How
my heart thrilled to the dash of the waterfall,
how it echoed back the song of the bird.
" ' Onward, and still onward, as we pursued our
journey, worlclless ideas of variety, and vastness,
and power, and infinitude, awoke within me.
New forms of nature presented themselves to
my view, — rocks, caves, glens, precipices. Men
of strange tongues spoke to us in unintelligible
language. Trees of singular foliage, and flowers
of new hues, grew beside our path. Birds of
strange plumage flitted above our heads. I
looked up at the meeting of the mountain-top
and the cloud, and down into immeasurable
depths. I stood on the banks of mighty rivers. I
rode upon the waves of the great sea. I was
oppressed by the multitude of my thoughts, and
very grateful for the soothing influence which
they exerted over me. I watched the going out
of the daylight from the west, and listened to the
hush of the nightfall.
" ' On such an evening we rode leisurely into a
quiet country village, and stopped before a
pleasant looking habitation. " This," said the
kind gentleman who accompanied me, (for such
I had found him to be,) " is, for a while, your
home." I had never learned to give expression
to my feelings, so I was silent and passive under
104 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
this new event of my destiny. I believe, how-
ever, that there was some evidence of grief upon
my countenance, when, on the following morn-
ing, I inquired for my conductor, and was in-
formed that he had departed ; for, after many
days of exhaustion from the fatigues of travel,
and deep thought upon the new subjects which
that travel had awakened, I remembered that I
had been the object of many little acts of kind-
ness, intended, no doubt, to relieve the loneliness
which I must have looked and acted. They had
their effect. Elastic nature returned to its
wonted impulses, and sought among the objects
of its visible communion, association and joy.
My knowledge of the outward world had become
to me like a dream, to which I returned at
pleasure, and always with delight. Sometimes,
with artist-like skill, I grouped and combined,
till I had formed what seemed to me a perfect
picture ; and when I had sufficiently admired its
beauties, some scene of memory would come
floating by, and nature was happier than design.
Sometimes the recollection of a single object
engrossed my thoughts ; sometimes the intermin-
able whole would stretch out before me, and I
looked, in fancy, from the mountain height, over
broad regions, or tracked rushing rivers across
continents to their sources, or followed the set-
EARTH AND HEAVEN. 105
ting sun, till his rays glanced upon the headlands
of distant shores, and lay warm in the valleys of
far-away islands of the ocean.
" ' It was a matter of no regret to me, that the
country around my village-home, was less beau-
tiful, in its general aspect, than thousand scenes
through which I had passed. It was rather a
relief. It was enough, for a while, to dream of
beauty ; would it not some day become again a
reality, and should I not love it better for this
temporary estrangement ?
" ' There was another cause for this sudden
indifference. The constant care, and frequent
manifestations of regard which I had received
from my protector on our journey, had awakened
the sense of human kindness slumbering at my
heart, but I had formed no attachment for him,
which I could not easily transfer to others. The
people among whom I was placed, spoke a dif-
ferent language from mine, and I learned to love
its agreeable accents, before I could associate
them with ideas ; and when, to the pleasantness of
the sounds, was added a knowledge of the senti-
ments, the kindness, and the love they expressed,
I was alive to the joys of social life. The music
and the power of words — the interchange of
thought — how all unworthy of these gifts, is the
value set upon them by mortals. But they re-
106 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
ceive them, before the heart has learned, by its
wants, to appreciate every acquisition in its
progress to the power of full and free expression.
It was different with me. I learned them, as
they were learned in Eden ; or, rather, as they
learned them, the wanderers over the high plains
of Asia, when the righteous judgments of
Heaven, in the land of Shinar, had reproved the
presumption of man. I was like the lost of one
tongue, seeking society with the separated from
the tribe of another.
" ' How merciful are the chastisements of God.
Humanity humbled down to its befitting depend-
ence, yet urged by necessity to virtuous exer-
tion, must have found, even in the curse of
Babel, high promptings to active enterprise in
civilization and the arts. What inspiration to
eloquence and song, what materiel for thought,
and feeling, and poetic dreams, in the new
knowledge brought to light, by that imperfect
communication in words, of the power to ex-
press, which lies in attitude, and look, and tone !
By what other means could I have been made so
sensible of the symmetry of the human form, the
grace of human action, and the beauty of the
human face, as in that earnest wish to under-
stand, which prompted, on the part of my kind
friends, a corresponding wish to impart, and
EARTH AND HEAVEN. 107
gave me, in so many instances, not only the
desired information of the moment, but the very
truth of the ideals of the statuary and the painter.
" ' This, my second lesson in the knowledge
of human life, was no less interesting than the
first. It was not, indeed, so readily compre-
hended, but there was pleasure even in that, for
it gave promise of continued novelty, in con-
tinued study. The material world was a pano-
rama, whose scenes were all picturesque ; the
world of humanity, a volume with splendid em-
bellishments. Its tales of passion, and suffering,
and enjoyment, were not all intelligible, but
bright were the truths I was able to understand,
and so beautiful in illustration its illuminated
pages, that I deemed man (high praise enough)
worthy to live with nature. Too much a fancy
of youth, to be realized in a longer acquaintance
with life ; yet, as nature appears to me now, I
might still acknowledge it true.'
" It was not then a smile that crossed the
features of his listener, but a look of such kind
interest, and yet half playful, that he paused
again, and apologized for the diffuseness into
which memory had betrayed him. But she
looked calmly into the wood, and then up at the
western sky, brilliant with refracted light, and
replied, ' My abode is not far from here ; there
is yet time.'
108 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
" ' My stay among these interesting people
was much longer than I expected ; but a messen-
ger at length summoned me to meet my guar-
dian, in a town some leagues distant. I was not
unwilling to leave my village friends, though the
parting was a sad one, for I had lived in the be-
lief that my life was not to be spent with them,
and I had become ambitious to know to what
course my future existence was destined. Be-
sides, I should find others like those I left. The
book would still be mine with its illustrations.
So, at least, I thought, during the two days' jour-
ney which conveyed me to my friend. The
visible agitation with which he received me, and
a certain change, that some strong feeling had
marked upon his features, since the last time I
had looked upon him, made me diffident, and I
replied to his interrogatories, and received his
instructions, with all the passiveness of my
earlier youth. Another period of my life was
soon arranged. My acquaintance with books
was extremely limited, and it was my patron's
wish that I should study. My new abode was to
be adapted strictly to a studious life, affording
little opportunity for social intercourse, but giving
me access to hundreds of well-selected volumes,
to many beautiful and curious productions of
nature, and to fine specimens of the arts.
EARTH AND HEAVEN. 109
" ' The ardor with which I engaged in my
new pursuit, enabled me to acquire the elements
of science, and to deduce conclusions, with intui-
tive power. I was again with nature, not as
before, all eye, all ear, but all thought, all won-
der. I might have murmured that the enchant-
ment of first impressions, should give place to
analysis, and classification, and detail, but I could
only marvel at the forming, and adapting, and
governing power, everywhere displayed. An
overpowering sense of omnipotent presence, took
possession of my soul. There was a record
upon every leaf, a reflection from every gem,
and a language in every sound, that testified
of purpose. The light boughs bent, gracefully to
the breeze as before ; but it was now in obe-
dience to an unerring agency. The brook
wandered and sang, not indeed " at its own
sweet will," but at the will of an immutable law.
The falling shower, and the wreathing mist, the
blossom, and the dew-drop, and all lovely and
gentle things, told of their " wherefore." The
sunbeam was brilliant of its beneficent deeds ;
and when night came, with its immensity of
darkness and silence, I seemed to ride with the
spheres, on their nicely-ordered round of chang-
ing seasons, and light, and shadow, and listened
to that wondrous music, whose chords are so
110 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
skilfully attuned, that it might be deemed a
chorus of the seraphim. Overcome and hum-
bled, even to sadness, I sought relief in the
lighter records of the works of man.
"'There they were before me, — the im-
personations of thought, the beings of the mind,
wrought into all but breathing life, by the genius
of the artist. I caught the inspiration, but I
wanted the power to execute ; nor was I long
in discovering that the great masters could
never quite represent the beau ideal of their
dreams. Was it that man was greater in con-
ception, and design, than in creative power ?
Must he look with the eye of imagination upon
phantoms of the glorious, while his best creations
resemble the ruder and earthlier forms that fill
his sensual vision ? So might he (the conclusion
was unavoidable) know and feel the pure and
the excellent in morals, yet be a wanderer in
the wilds of delusion and sin. Much as this
idea affected me, I lost sight of it in my first
rapid perusal of the annals of the past. I caught
pride at the thought that " the Lord planted a
garden " for the first habitation of man ; nor did
I feel so much the degradation of the fall, as the
hope that he would prove worthy to " regain the
blissful seat." It was this feeling which kept me
from dwelling on the surpassing wickedness of
EARTH AND HEAVEN. Ill
mankind. I looked but on the good and the
mighty. I was with the multitude, as with the
single arm, only in their struggles for right and
truth, in their deeds of perilous enterprise, and
romantic adventure. I sang with the Israelites
their songs of deliverance and triumph ; I went
to Ilium with the princely avengers of the
wrongs of Atrides ; I did battle with the Chris-
tian knight, for the tombs of Palestine, led forth
adventurers to search for the " islands of the
blessed," and shouted freedom, from the hill-tops
of the Vaudois.
" ' How glorious appeared the conflict of the
morning ray of mental liberty with the primeval
darkness of uncivilized life, breaking out only at
intervals, and fitfully, like the lightning from
the storm-cloud, yet maintaining the desperate
struggle, even to the period when God again
uttered the mandate, " Let there be light."
" And there was light " to dispel the night of
barbarism that settled over the fair valleys of
southern Europe ; and to show, in the untravelled
distance, the actual Hesperides of the ancient
" ' With what enthusiam I traced the progress
of the refining arts, from the fabulous era, when
the exiled Apollo sang to his lyre, among the
herdsmen of Thessaly, and they took up that
112 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
strain " of linked sweetness, long drawn out," in
the muse-haunted groves of Greece, through all
the years when the laurel leaf shaded the dia-
dem on the brow of regal Italia, and still onward,
from the time when the glorious spirit of north-
ern poetry came forth from the mist and storms
of the German ocean, and rested upon its shores.
" ' Could I have noticed the degradation first ;
could I have remembered the poor remnant that
was saved when " the fountains of the great deep
were broken up," and when the Lord rained
fire upon the cities of the plain ; could I have
dwelt longer upon the mournful story, that for
their aggravated iniquities, God's own favored
people were doomed, for long years, heart-weary
captives, to weep by the rivers of Babylon ;
could I have thought less of the deeds of the
great ones of the earth, and more of the perse-
cutions they suffered from the multitude ; could I
have seen humanity as it was, as it now is,
capable of high attainments in virtue, yet, for
the most part, low and grovelling in its desires, it
might have saved me from the sickening change
of feeling which followed a more attentive pe-
rusal of the pages of history. My aversion
to my fellow-beings was settling into a most
painful melancholy, when my thoughts were
diverted by instructions, received from my guar-
EARTH AND HEAVEN. 113
dian, relating to my studies. They were to be
directed to the attainment of a profession for
active life. I commenced the undertaking with
industry, and persevered. My teachers praised
my success, but the task, though engrossing, was
spiritless, and I was glad when I was at length
released. A few weeks' travel was thought
necessary to my new vocation, and I was be-
coming very fond of a roving life, when, one
evening, our carriage wound slowly up from the
city yonder, to my cottage-home upon the hill.
" ' The domestics who inhabited it were atten-
tive to their guests, and we spent the night be-
neath their roof. In the morning, my guide
presented me with the house and its grounds,
and a considerable investment of funds in the
city. He requested me to remain there until I
received a visit from my guardian, from whom I
might expect an explanation of the mysteries of
my life, and then left me. And there, for many
months, have I lived. My guardian has not yet
appeared, nor do I know in what part of the
world he resides. I have devoted some part
of my time to business ; not that I have any
motive to labor, but I have been told that it is
not well to be idle. I have acquaintances in the
city, but they do not interest me. They have
not the simplicity of life and manners which
114 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
charmed me in my earliest friends, nor are they
like those we love, in story and song. I have
already remarked upon the altered appearance
of nature. I know not why it should be thus,
for the verdure here is very luxuriant, and the
skies are very soft. My home is beautiful in its
arrangement of shadowing trees, and flowering
shrubs, and twining vines, yet I value it only for
the hours I can spend there, secure from inter-
ruption, in meditation and dreams. My reading,
since I was left to this life of leisure and free-
dom, has been mostly of the tales of romance,
and, like those who framed them, I live in a
world of my own arranging. The charm of my
first impressions of nature is in the bloom of my
fancied Paradises, and beings, lovely as mortals
may be, are with me there in happiness. The
deceitfulness of life appears to me to justify
these wild imaginings, yet not wholly can I avoid
misgivings. I am beginning to fear that my
guardian may never come, and that it may not
be well to pass existence thus. I sometimes
think that the strange manner in which I have
been educated may have bewildered my under-
standing, and that some one, with a better expe-
rience of life, could direct me how to live in this
world, without wearying of it, in view of the
more beautiful ideal.'
EARTH AND HEAVEN. 115
" ' Why do you not seek instruction,' demand-
ed his listener, ' of the virtuous and the wise
Anselm ? '
" ' Thou hast divined the wish of my heart,
lady,' said the youth. ' I have heard much of
the sage of whom you speak ; of his antiquarian
lore, his researches into the mysteries of science,
his surpassing knowledge of men and things, and
of the familiar and illustrative manner in which
he impressed truth upon those who seek his in-
structions. I learned that it was one of the chief
attractions of the new temple lately dedicated to
the arts, that the noble Anselm spent much of
his time in studying the chef cV ceuvres of its
splendid collection. Every day, during the last
week that it was open to visiters, I lingered in its
galleries, but without accomplishing the object
of each succeeding visit. I could not intrude on
his conversation with others, and when I saw
him alone, the sanctity of his character made me
timid, and I feared to approach. You know the
little incident which occurred at our first meet-
ing, but you cannot know how much I was grati-
fied by your obliging kindness, nor how I re-
joiced, the next day, to see you leaning confid-
ingly on the arm of Anselm, and the look of
fond regard with which he listened to your re-
marks. My resolution was instantly taken ; for-
116 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
give its rashness. I determined to interest you
in my story, if I could obtain your attention to
it, and to beg your intercession with him, to
make me the most obliged among those whom
he has blessed with his instruction and advice.'
" ' To-morrow,' she said, and the tone be-
trayed an agitation she could not entirely con-
trol, 4 to-morrow, the temple will again be open,
with new and valuable additions. There will be
many there, but fear not for your interest with
Anselm.' And with a slight wave of the hand,
and an au revoir expression of countenance, she
disappeared amid the shadows of the wood.
" It was a scene that might tempt you to leave
gazing at this, ma chere, the interior of that
magnificent building. Galleries of imposing
height and fine perspective, filled with speci-
mens from every school of art, and in such taste-
ful arrangement, well might they have drawn
together the hundreds who congregated there, —
student-artists, connoisseurs, scholars, travellers.
Yet was there no crowd in those spacious halls,
but here and there a solitary gazer ; here and
there a group of those whose worship, even of
the beautiful, must be social worship. And no
noise, except the low murmur of near voices,
and the faint echoes of distant ones.
EARTH AND HEAVEN. 117
" Alhamil was there, and Anselm, and his
lovelier friend. He had seen them, and he be-
lieved they had noticed him ; he was not certain,
for they made no haste to join him. He dreaded
the interview, and was weary of the suspense.
His heart beat heavily, and turning the corner of
a passage leading to another gallery, and con-
taining a few seemingly inferior pictures, he
leaned against a pillar which supported on one
side the arched entrance, and thus screened
from observation, endeavored to regain his self-
possession. He had fixed his eyes so steadily
upon a picture at half the depth of the recess,
that he was unconscious of their approach till
they were very near. He had been struggling,
vainly, with his emotions ; he was only able to
remain quiet. Strange that a simple tone should
accomplish, in an instant, as by electric power,
what moments of exertion could not effect. It
was the hand of a master that touched the key.
' Alhamil,' said the voice ; and he did not start,
he scarcely raised his eyes to the interesting pair
at his side, with the profound salutation of re-
spect with which he replied to his name ; yet his
pulse beat evenly, and he listened in silent joy.
'You have taste,' continued the speaker; 'tell
me, what think you of the picture you appeared
to be studying ? ' The youth bent his earnest
llO THE ROSE OF SHARON.
gaze, for a few moments, upon the before un-
noticed piece. ' It seems,' said he, ' a Swiss
mountain home. The wild grandeur of the high
back ground is strikingly Alpine. The free
world of the fleet chamois lies partly in shadow
beneath ; and just where it stands, is the very
spot for a habitation, looking away at the vine-
clad hills on the right, and down upon the green
valley, and trie quiet hamlet. But the picture
has no animation ; there is no warmth in the
coloring, no light even in the reflection of the
sunbeam. That verdure tells not of the rich
fruitage which fills the wine cup, and those
husbandmen might hear the notes of the Ranz
des Vaches, in a foreign land, unmoved. That
peasant there, looking up at the scene above
him, what does he know of the cavern of Grutti,
and the bowstring of Tell ? '
" ' And yet,' replied Ansel m, ' what scene in
all the world should be more beautiful than a
Swiss mountain home, or who ever dipped a
pencil in diviner colors than the artist who paint-
ed that ? But I want your opinion elsewhere : '
and he led the way back into the larger room, in
front of a wall covered with architectural designs,
and through another passage, lined with col-
umns of the different orders ; Alhamil knew not
whither, so pleased was he to listen to his inter-
EARTH AND HEAVEN. 119
esting remarks. They stopped before the model
of an Attic portico, ornamented with a statue of
Vesta. A wreath of freshly-gathered flowers
had been thrown upon the goddess. ' Erenie,'
said ADselm, with a smile, and waiting her ap-
proach, ' this offering to the household gods must
be thine.' A bright tear came to the eye of the
maiden, as, clasping the hand that held her
wreath, and leaning in fond reverence upon it,
she asked, in reply, ' what better divinities could
I worship, to-day ? ' ' Worship God, my daugh-
ter,' was the cheerful, yet solemn response.
" They passed on, and Alhamil's swelling
heart needed the kind voice whose accents again
met his ear.
" ' There is a counterpart to the picture you
criticised so severely. What think you of that ? '
" ' It seems the very same in its outline and
grouping, but with a most striking difference in
coloring and effect. There is light on that land-
scape, and sound, and music, and joy. Those
are the peaks that herald the coming sun, and
reverberate the roar of the avalanche. That far
reach of upland valley, and startling crag, and
fearful precipice, echoes the hunter's carabine,
and prolongs the swelling notes of the Alpine
horn. The cascade leaps down from the rock,
as if it knew its waters would travel seaward
120 THE ROSE OP SHARON.
with the beautiful Rhine. The vine-dresser is
singing the song of the hills, and the beaming
eye of the peasant rests upon his father-land.'
" ; And thou art looking, Alhamil, upon the
very piece thou hast but just condemned. The
clear light which shows thee its beauty now, was
around thee then, but it came not back to thee,
as it now does, in glowing reflection from the
canvass. Canst thou not apply the illustration
to thy life ? '
" ' I can guess thy meaning, but dare not trust
myself to make the application.'
" ' Sit down by me, then, in this unvisited
recess, and I will give thee a longer, and a
plainer lesson. And thou, too, Erenie, bring
that low seat, and place it here for thyself. I
have heard thy story, young man, and am much
inclined to congratulate thee upon it, strange as
it may seem that I should. • Thou hast learned
the same things that others learn, and with this
advantage : thy lessons, and the impressions
they left upon thy mind, were distinct. To
others, instruction is so blended, that the disaf-
fection arising from one source, is compensated
by the joy imparted at another ; and the beauty
of many a truth is dimmed by the overshadowing
darkness of some of its associations. The mind,
in its early acquaintance with life, like the spirit
EARTH AND HEAVEN. 121
in its warfare with this world, is " troubled on
every side, yet not distressed ; perplexed, yet
not in despair ; " for the admonitory voice is
ever ready with its warning, and the hand of
experience directs to the right path, and its sure
reward. Thou hast needed these, my son ; thou
canst not reproach thyself, as others must, that
they have been disregarded. But wilt thou profit
by them if they come to thee now ? '
" * Be thou the guide of my youth,' said Alha-
mil, fervently, ' and see if I do not reverence
thy counsels.' In the excitement of his gratitude
he thought not of wondering that a tear should
have gathered to the eye of the good Anselm,
and that Erenie, whose presence had become to
him like the imbodiment of his brightest dream,
should have sought to conceal her emotion by
drooping her beautiful head upon the folds of the
" ' Let us compare thy past impressions with
thy present discontent. Thou wert once an
admirer of nature. A few roods of ground,
closed in by an insurmountable wall, where
spouted the tiny cataract, and murmured the
gentle brook, where the hill and the grove
imaged feebly the mountain and forest, and the
breeze scarcely wandered in freedom, was thy
whole world of fragrance, and beauty, and music,
122 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
and it was world enough. Now, the wide earth
is beneath thy feet, and the illimitable heavens
are above thee ; the softest note that reaches thy
ear from woodland, or gushing rivulet, or wan-
dering zephyr, is but a part in that continuous
strain which thou nearest, sounding on, grand
and anthem-like, as from the sea of life to the
shore of eternity. The ocean-wind comes to
thy brow, fresh with the spray of the white
foam ; beauty and grandeur are mingled in thy
sight, and thou hast no joy in these things.
" ' A few years of thy life were passed with a
simple-hearted people, poor, except in content-
ment and trust, and ignorant in all but that gentle
wisdom which shrinks from the grosser forms of
vice ; and thy social feelings had full and happy
exercise. Now, thou art in the midst of a proud
city, whose names tell of the chivalry of the
past, and whose inhabitants, refined by powerful
influences, are ranked with the aristocracy of
the earth. Yet thou seekest no communion with
thy fellow-men. Thou wert once an enthusiast
in thy admiration of human greatness. Will the
ascending chariot of ambition pause before it
reaches its highest goal ? Has the greenness of
the bay faded on the brow of genius, or does the
armor of the Christian grow dim in his warfare
with the adversary ? The present age has a
EARTH AND HEAVEN. 123
conflict, and the battle-field is the human mind.
The strife is still for freedom ; not that alone
which breaks the chain, but that which binds the
oppressor ; not that which may win the victory
in the struggle with sin, but that which heeds
not the voice of the tempter. The victor who
wins for himself alone, wears a white robe, and
carries a palm, and he who conquers for others
writes his name, in starlike beauty, among the
dearest to fame ; yet thou sayest thou hast no
motive to labor. Thy offence,' said Anselm,
replying to the ingenuous blush that kindled on
the cheek of Alhamil, ' is less aggravated than
it might have been. Thou hast not learned that
the weakness which wears out life in inactivity,
the wearyings of this world, the repinings of the
disappointed, and the impiety of the misanthropic,
come mostly from the very cause of thy present
discontent, — the abuse of God's brightest gift to
the mind, the gift that makes beauty of plainness,
and throws over beauty a yet lovelier couleur de
" ' It is the charm and the glory of existence,
that it has been made our duty to improve it.
Evil exists, but we have the good before us, by
which to correct it ; the good is imperfect, and
imagination, with her forms of transcendent love-
liness, is ready to assist us in improving the
124 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
good. And this is her only legitimate office.
The shivering savage sees and adopts the shelter
of him who has gone a few steps in civilization.
The civilized discovers symmetry in nature, and
remodels his habitation ; and the man of refined
taste makes visible the beauty of the ideal, in the
structure of his dwelling. Such is the true
course of every onward progress that we make.
When we have adopted the good, in all its pal-
pable forms, the refinements of the mental vision
come to our aid, and we go on in an improve-
ment which we may contemplate as immeasu-
rable ; for the poetiy that directs and cheers our
advancement is evidence of excellence not yet
attained, and religion justifies our aspirations
after the beatified and the immortal. " The fool
hath said in his heart there is no God." The
fool hath deemed it were better to sleep on in
death, than to awake to endless life. It was one
advance from this, to hear the voice of the Great
Spirit in the winds, and to see, in the shifting
clouds, the souls of the departed. It was another,
to behold in the woods and the fountains, the
depths of ocean, and the realms of air, wrought
into seeming life, by the beauty and grace of
each, their own peculiar and presiding deities ;
and it was another, to worship the true God, with
the children of the patriarchs in the prophetic
EARTH AND HEAVEN. 125
rites of the law. Yet were all these imperfect,
for the heathen was dreaming of a purer philoso-
phy, and the Hebrew was waiting the promise of
a more glorious revelation, when Christianity
descended upon earth, and made luminous the
path of progressive duty. She it was, who
taught that there are degrees in excellence ; and
that leaving the things that are behind, we should
" reach forward to the things that are before."
She it was, who, mindful to link the ideal to the
true, half opened the portals of the blissful world
she promised us, gave us a few rays of its purer
light, a few glimpses of its angel-forms, a few
strains of its undying melody ; and whispering,
that of its undiscovered glories, " eye hath not
seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into
the heart of man to conceive," closed the vision,
and exalted imagination to become a sister-
grace with hope and faith. Alas, to what un-
holy purposes, has her ministry been debased !
How have her brightest favorites stooped to
pollution, beautifying unworthy objects to lead
the heart astray in its love, and deifying perish-
ing ones to profane it with idolatry. Trusting
spirits, persuaded that her darker dreams alone
are inspiration, have been frighted from their
moorings of love and joy, and thousand minds,
separating her light from that of truth and na-
126 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
ture, have been lost in the wilds of unregulated
fantasy. The last is thy fault, Alhamil ; and such
will be its reward, unless the light that bewilders
thee, can be thrown upon the realities of thy
life. Be assured that the Alpine scenery of the
picture before thee, is not more beautiful in the
brightness that rests upon it now, than thy home
and thy destiny will be, when the poetry of thy
heart shall have made them its dream of beauty.'
" ' I have learned my error,' said the youth ;
* 1 saw nature beautiful in her outward garb, and
sublime in her ceaseless operations, and man
worthy of nature. But I was impatient at the
imperfections which I found mingled with the
blessings of earth. I did not reflect that this
arrangement was for our benefit, that we might
labor to overcome the evil with that which is
more perfect, and grow purer and happier, in
exalting and beautifying the good. I did not
know, as thou hast taught me, that in this work
we may bring imagination to our aid ; and I fled
with her from the haunts of men, and became
so enamored with the scenes she drew for me
there, that I know not how to seek enjoyment in
realities. Were my home and my destiny hum-
ble, I might labor to improve them; and labor
would create interest, and interest might awaken
such love as we give to the ideal ; but they are
EARTH AND HEAVEN. 127
already all that I could desire, and how can they
ever be more to me, than they are now ? '
" ' Thou dost not know, then, that the philoso-
pher can untwist even the sunbeam, and throw
its iris hues upon the dazzled sight. And thou
wilt not believe, that there is nothing so humble,
if it be pure, or so lovely, if it be of earth, but
may be made lovelier, and dearer, by that poetic
charm with which the heart may learn to invest
it, if it will. But thine is the common doom of
those who allow themselves to be bewildered
by the illusions of fancy. The spell of fairy-
land is on thee, to wander amidst seeming de-
lights, leaving, in thy own beautiful, but neglected
inheritance, forms of life that slumber, voices
that speak not, and harps that are tuneless, for
there is no word, and no hand to wake them. I
pity thee ; thy home has real charms, brighter
than those of thy dreams, and thou knowest it
not. Thy friends, — hast thou any friends ? '
" ' My guardian has claims upon my gratitude ;
but I think of him only as of one, who, if indeed
we ever meet, will leave me again to solitude
" ' Look at me, Alhamil. Is it the professor's
gown that I wear, — has time marked its changes
so plainly, or can it be that the little artifices I
have employed have been so successful, that you
128 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
do not yet recognize your guardian in me ?
This is no place for the communications I have
to make, but I cannot delay to tell thee, that the
home for which thou hast no affection was the
home of thy birth ; the home, for a few years of
happy life, of one who loved it with all the fervor
of a poetic soul. Hers was the presence whose
sunshine blessed it with perpetual joy. Hers the
pure spirit, that, shrinking from the first fearful
form of guilt that met her view, looked so be-
seechingly to that world where sin cannot come,
that the messenger death was sent to convey her
home. She was thy mother. Hast thou not
seen in thy grounds a low white monument
marked with a single name ? I will not leave
thee again to solitude. When the apparent in-
consistencies of my conduct have been explained,
thou wilt learn that I have claims upon thee for
affection, as well as gratitude. And Erenie, who
is weeping with thee, she, too, has a tie for thy
heart ; one which I know thou wouldst not break
for a thousand dreams.'
" His voice, which he would not allow his
own agitation to subdue, yielded, for a moment,
to the power of sympathy. The look of wonder
which had appeared at first upon the face of
Alhamil, had changed to one of joyful recogni-
tion ; to another of deeper interest ; and, with the
EARTH AND HEAVEN. 129
first unwonted throb of filial affection that rushed
to his heart, he was on his knees, clasping the
hand of his revered friend, and weeping un-
" ' Be composed,' said Anselm, at length ;
' suffer not the careless to witness the indulgence
of feelings holy as thine. We will walk in the
galleries, till I have met an appointment, which
I must wait here ; but by the time that the
shadows of the mountains have reached thy
dwelling, we will go with thee there, and thou
shalt know by what names we claim thy love.
But the lesson, my son, let that remain with thee.
Would that all, who, like thee, have wasted the
poetry of the heart in vain imaginings, might be
persuaded to turn to the real, and make of that
the beauty and the joy of life.'
" They were again seated. Those with whom
they had mingled and conversed had retired, ex-
cept a few who lingered at a distance. The
same expression was on the countenance of each,
—joy and anticipation ; and they spoke low, and
briefly, of the gems of art with which they were
still engaged. i That piece,' said Anselm, in
reply to a question, ' I have studied more than
any other. It strikes us, at first, as familiar ; yet
there is a mystery about it, which we cannot
130 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
solve. What taste in the selection of objects to
form the scenery, yet how unimportant seems
the circumstance, for the particulars please us
not so much as the whole. The delicious haze
of the atmosphere, so dreamy that spirits might
sink to sleep beneath its influence, yet with such
an apparently increasing glow, as if it were
mingling with a flood of glory that lies beyond.
May it not be a dream of that undiscovered
island where paradise still lingers upon earth ? '
" c Why not,' said Erenie, ' a dream of heaven ?
" All goodly things that mark our sphere,
Glow in diviner beauty there."
If it be the work of the ideal to beautify, and
exalt the excellence which our knowledge of
good and evil enables us to separate from the
imperfections of this life, and if it be but a be-
wildering fascination, when unconnected with
realities, how may we think of heaven, bat as a
continuation of the goodly things of earth. Its
purely spiritual life may, indeed, forbid us to
imagine for that world, much of the materiality
that we love in this ; but have we not been told
of golden harps, and garments of dazzling white-
ness, and glittering crowns, and crystal rivers,
on whose banks grows the tree of life ? Are not
the pure affections of the heart, and the sanctify-
EARTH AJNT.D HEAVEN. 131
ing passions of the soul, " goodly things ? " Can
we lose there, the thirst for knowledge, the
charity for our kindred nature, or the love of
the beautiful and the holy ? Is there not high
converse among the immortals, and love they not
to listen to the music of the celestial choirs ? Of
ourselves, know we not that we shall be " equal
unto the angels ; " and of the angels, that they
have sung to us songs of congratulation upon the
borders of our world, and roamed its green mar-
gin, in human guise, with their zeal to deliver
messages of blessing, with their radiant coun-
tenances, and their few, but burning words ? It
is a necessary encouragement to our progress in
this life, to be allowed to look to another, where
pure and lovely things shall be made perfect ;
and why should not heaven be dearer, if we may
carry there not the remembrance only, but the
actual possession of what we have valued here,
purified and glorified, it may be, beyond even
the reach of the ideal, but yet no more than the
perfection of what we have loved on earth. Else
what an immeasurable distance between this
world and the next, and how much more we
should shrink and cling to the perishing, had we
not some acquaintance with the nature of the
immortal. When we have gazed long and in-
tently upon the evening sky, sensible, though we
132 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
watched them not, of the changes, half real, half
imagined, from lovelier, to lovelier still, through
which all beautiful things of earth were passing
in the softer light, have we not seen, all at once,
so faintly, yet so distinctly apparent, that star
whose coming heralds the glittering host ? Such,
to us, be the dawn of the blissful world to which
" My story is ended, dearest."
" Why ! am I not to hear what is so soon to
be disclosed ? "
" Not now, indeed, it is too late. Nor is it
necessary. I have done what I promised, as well
as I might."
"And I have seen ' that star.' Look at it,
Mary ; just visible in that clear deep sky. Bless
thee, my friend. If I possess any thing on
earth that is worthy to make a part of the bles-
sedness of heaven, it is thou, and thy ministering
THE LAST LAY.
BY MISS S. C. EDGAK.TON.
'T is the last touch — the last ! and never more -
By the low-singing stream, or violet dell,
Never beside the blue pond's grassy shore,
Nor in the woodlands where the fountains swell,
O, never more shall this wild harp resound
To the light touches of impulsive thought!
No longer, echoed on the winds around,
Shall float those strains with human passion fraught ;
Never, O, never more !
'Tis the last touch! O, mighty Thought, return
To thy deep, hidden fountains, and draw thence
Words that through all the heart's lone depths shall burn ;
Words, that inwrought with hope and love intense,
Shall thrill and shake the soul, as God's own voice
Shakes the high heavens, and thrills the silent earth !
Bring forth proud words of triumph, and rejoice
That thy dear gift of song a holier birth
Shall find, when this is o'er!
134 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
Too much in earlier day,?, departing soul,
Thy song hath been of weakness and of tears;
Too much it yielded to the wild control
Of love's unuttered dreams and shadowy fears ;
And yet some strains of triumph have been heard,
Some words of faith and hope that reached high heaven
As the low warble of the summer bird,
Singing away the hours of golden even,
Blends with the cascade's roar!
Let it be loftier now ! a strain to cleave
The vaulted arch above ; a hymn of hope,
Of joy, of deathless faith, for those who grieve;
High words of trust to fearful hearts that grope
Through clouds and darkness to a midnight tomb !
Father of Love, thine energy impart
To a frail spirit hovering o'er its doom !
Nerve with o'ermastering faith this weary heart
Thy mysteries to explore !
If I have suffered in the mournful past,
If withered hopes were on my spirit laid,
If love, the beautiful, the bright, were cast
Along my pathway but to droop and fade, —
If the chill shadows of the grave were hung
In life's young morning o'er my sunny way,
I thank thee, O, my God, that I have clung
To those eternal things that ne'er decay,
E'en to thy love and truth !
THE LAST LAY. 135
Now on the threshold of the grave I stand,
One lingering look alone cast back to earth;
One lingering look to that beloved land
Where human feeling had its tearful birth;
There stand the loved, with earnest eyes and words,
Calling me back to life's sweet gushing streams ;
They stand amid the flowers and singing birds,
And where the fountain o'er the bright moss gleams,
All flushed with buoyant youth!
They woo me back. I see their soft eyes melt
With a beseeching love that speaks in tears;
Deeply their sorrowing kindness have I felt,
And hid my pangs, that I might soothe their fears.
But now the seal is set — they cannot save;
In vain they hover round this wasting frame;
Let me rest, loved ones, in the peaceful grave,
And leave to earth the little it may claim ;
It cannot claim the soul!
Nay, gentle friends, earth cannot claim the soul!
Upward and onward its bold flight shall be ;
The bosom of Eternal Love its goal,
And light its crown, and bliss its destiny !
As the bright meteor darts along the sky,
Leaving a trail of beauty on its way,
So, winged with energy that cannot die,
My soul shall reach the gates of endless day,
And bid them backward roll 1
136 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
In vain, O death, thy iron grasp is set
On nerves that quiver with delirious pain;
Claim not thy triumph o'er the spirit yet,
For thou shalt die, but that shall live again.
And thou, O sorrow, that with whetted beak
Hast torn the fibres of a fervent heart,
Thy final doom is not for me to speak,
Yet thou, too, from thy carnage must depart,
For God recalls his own.
His own ! O, Father, 'mid the budding flowers
And glittering dews of life's unclouded morn,
Where there is thrilling music in the hours
Of gentle hopes and young affections born,
Through all its wanderings from thy holy throne,
Through all its loiterings 'mid the haunts of joy,
Hath my frail spirit been indeed thine own,
By ties that time nor death can e'er destroy —
Thine, Father, thine alone !
Shall it not still be thine, more nobly thine,
When from the ruins of young hope it soars,
And, entering into life and peace divine,
Feels the full worth of what it now deplores ?
No sorrows there shall stain its gushing springs;
No human frailties cloud its joyous way;
The bird that soars on renovated wings,
And bathes its crest where dawns the golden day,
Shall be less free and pure.
THE LAST LAY. 137
And more than this! With vision all serene,
Undimmed by tears, and bounded not by clouds,
With naught thy goodneps and its gaze between,
And where no mystery thy purpose shrouds,
The soul, the glorious soul, in works of love,
Shall seek, and only seek to do thy will ;
Highborn and holy shall its efforts prove,
Thy bright designs and glory to fulfil,
While thou and thine endure!
BY MISS H. J. WOODMAN.
Thou art not here !
Yet memory brings thy softly beaming eye,
And thy sweet voice with cadence low and clear,
Steals o'er my spirit like an angel's sigh !
Thou art not here,
Yet in my heart each word that thou hast spoken,
Hath found a shrine above all others dear,
And there must dwell — love's bright, undying token !
How strong the chain
Which oft we grasp with careless hand, to twine
Amid our thread of life, then strive in vain
To burst the fetters we may not resign !
Thy pleading eye,
Lit with love's holy fire which burns within,
Hath messages that busy ears defy,
Voiceless, yet heard above the tempest's din.
THE UNFORGOTTEN. 139
Thou art not here !
The gorgeous sun hath lost his dazzling ray,
The moon, less lovely doth her crescent rear,
And nature mourns with me thy lengthened stay !
The stars ascend,
Night after night their holy watch to keep j
O, may their light upon thy path attend,
While seraphs cluster round to guard thy sleep !
To prayer, to prayer!
My aching heart, there is a refuge still
From the wild worship of thine earthly care,
In him whose love shall all my spirit fill.
His days are thine !
Father in heaven! sustain, and bless, and guide
The heart that long hath ministered to mine,
From the o'erflowing of affection's tide !
He will return —
The brave, the gentle, and the undefiled !
Strange that my doubting eye could not discern
The bow of promise mid the tempest wild !
BY MRS. L. J. B. CASE.
The first slight chills of early autumn were
on the landscape, and the foliage had already-
been stricken by the hand that throws beauty
over decay. The sun had just gone down, but
his footprints yet lay on the clouds of his path-
way, as beautiful and as glorious as the memo-
ries that remain when the noble and the good
have passed beyond our mortal horizon.
Twilight was gathering over the earth. A
soft shadow was stealing over tree and river.
The warm tints of the decaying leaf, and the
blue of the sleeping current and the bending
sky, were melting into its sombre hue. But the
stars came out one by one, and the heavens
It was an hour when feeling lies quietly down
before the shrine of thought. As the toiling and
busy earth passes to repose beneath the lofty
serenity of the skies, so the wildest pulse is
calmed before the intellect, that then, majestic
THE COMET. 141
and unmoved, looks down on its tumultuous
throbbings. It was an hour when man leans
not on life ; when he sees that the hopes that are
born of earth are but beautiful phantoms, that
mock his pursuit, and lead him on with ignis
fatuus light, until they vanish behind the tomb-
stone that bounds his path. At such a time, life
is the shadowy, and eternity the real ; and the
restless cares, the fruitless toils, that fill up its
day, dwindle into their own insignificance in the
presence of the thoughts that wander on the
star-beam, and traverse the hushed and holy air.
The student sat by his open window, in one of
the upper rooms of literary and classical Cam-
bridge. It was the promenade hour, and crowds
of gay belles and beaux were passing along be-
neath his pensive and thoughtful gaze ; and if,
in the dimness of the twilight, some bright eye
caught the melancholy expression of his face,
the light laugh soon told it was forgotten in the
passing jest. What could she, the admired, the
courted, the happy, know of sympathy with that
unfamiliar, mournful student ? Perchance, time
may teach her such lessons, that in after years
the saddened look will not fall unregarded, but,
like the angel of old, will go down into the
depths of her heart, and so stir its secret foun-
tains, that the spirit of healing shall arise from
its troubled waters.
142 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
The young student was sad. It was his last
college terra, and the highest rewards of mental
toil were to be awarded to him ; yet what were
they now ? The hectic burned on his cheek, the
death-gleam was playing in his speaking eyes,
the viper was at his vitals, and the fearful work
would soon be finished. What, then, would
avail the efforts he had made, the hardships he
had undergone, to win an education ? An ap-
prentice boy, he had conned his lessons by the
scanty fire-light ; he had toiled through the
drudgery of winter school keeping, that his sum-
mers might be given to unremitted study ; he
had submitted to the petty insults that juvenile
aristocracy are too prone to heap upon the less
fortunate beneficiary in his college life ; all these,
that a career of honor and usefulness might be
opened to him, and was it not hard to die ?
He was no dreamy enthusiast, content to sit,
day after day, and listen to the sound of those
sweet, flowing waters that glide through the soul.
He was not one to allow his active energies to
be lulled to slumber with the melody of those
mysterious chords within that ever thrill to the
beautiful and the sublime. He was an orphan.
None ever called him brother, for the fair twin-
flower of his home, the only sharer of parental
love, faded before she could lisp his name ; and
THE COMET. 143
those who would have protected his childhood,
laid down early to their rest. Nor had the
bright and blissful imaginings of youth shaped
themselves into a palpable form, and gathered
around one fair face a crowd of radiant visions.
Love, the sweetest, the holiest, the most evan-
escent of all the dreams that haunt the human
breast, had never abode with him ; still, life was
full of joy and hope, and he felt it was hard
to die !
He was ambitious. He had the consciousness
of high energies that might be put forth for the
benefit of mankind. He was strong to grapple
with circumstances, and the sense of self-sustain-
ing power made him long to enter upon the
exercise of it in the exciting turmoil of life. He
would lay the axe to the root of tolerated errors.
He would hew down the mighty framework that
shuts the mind from freedom. He would strike
the fetters from thought, and teach it to dwell
among the pure, the beautiful, and the lofty;
and if, amidst these noble aspirations, other and
more earthly ones were mingled, well might
they be forgiven him ! He wished to climb
where his station would compel the respect that
was denied to his poverty-smitten youth ; he
sought to outstrip, in the race for fame, those
whose contumely had added thorns, if not obsta*
144 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
cles, to his toilsome way ; he aimed to make the
world feel his presence and power. Such was
he ; yet the nickering flame of his life was
nearly done, and he could only look to an early
Well might he shrink from death, that myste-
rious, remorseless thing, that comes so noiseless-
ly, and stoops over man a few moments, and he
is gone, and the clay lies cold, silent, and alone !
Well might he shudder to resign his hopes for
the darkness of the unknown, and the unfathom-
able stillness of the shroud and cofhn !
The twilight deepened, and then deepened
the shadows on his spirit ; alas ! the stars had
had not yet there broken the gloom ; the beauti-
ful lights of heaven had not yet brightened the
darkness born of the earth. A long train of
mournful reflections came trooping over his
mind. Thus ran the meditations of that sad-
dened spirit :
" And so I must die ; go far away into the un-
known ; leave life with all its stirring interests,
its warm companionships, its high promises, and
lofty deeds, for a state that hath never yet had
one ray thrown into its darkness ! Why hath
heaven wrapt that future in clouds so impenetra-
ble ? I would not shrink from the tomb, could a
voice arise to tell me of its secrets, even if it
THE COMET. 145
brought a tale of trials to be endured, of conflicts
to be met, or of difficulties to be overcome.
There, at least, would be action, and that is hap-
piness ; but that dim, silent realm, that land of
unanswering gloom ! It is fearfully dark ! It
is shudderingly lone ! Whither goes the soul
when the last gleam hath faded from the eye,
and the stern, gray twilight of the grave hath
settled on each quiescent feature ? They say,
those wise schoolmen, that death is sleep — rest;
and I want action. They say that death is un-
consciousness, until the dawning of a great day
shall give another imbodiment to the newly-
awakened spirit ; but I wish to live on, with
knowledge and power increasing, with energies
still progressing on a limitless career. Why
hath our Father hidden a state we cannot shun ?
why veiled in mystery an event he compels us to
meet ? "
As the night gathered over the earth, the stars
grew more distinct in the skies, and the comet,
that was on a visit to this system, shone bril-
liantly, sweeping its long train over a host of
the lesser gems. The student had seen it many
times before, bat now, the position of its train
with regard to the sun, manifested that its un-
known errand to the source of light was accom-
plished, and it was on its return along its illimita-
146 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
ble way. He gazed at it with an interest he had
never known before. There was something of
sympathy between the mysterious traveller of
the skies and his soul, about to depart on an un-
" Beautiful ! beautiful ! " he exclaimed, and
looked upon it until the heavens had no other
object for his eye. There it shone, brilliant, but
unknown, the journeyer of a road measured only
by him who ordained its wild, erratic career ! For
a few more nights it would be seen, then away,
with lightning rapidity, on and on, into bound-
less space, — on and still on, where thought
itself cannot travel ; so with his soul. For a
brief season, it had blazed with unmatched splen-
dor among inferior minds, but now it was about
to depart from its familiar skies, and pass on and
on, where new and unknown systems and suns
should surround it, and of its mysterious way,
none might take cognizance save the Eternal.
How often does the harp within thrill with
strange, unwonted melody, when all outward
influences are silent, its strings vibrating to view-
less fingers, and sending forth sweet response!
Are not all spirits in unison, when the spirit-
voice is uttered undisturbed by the jar of worldly
elements, whether they are soaring through all
space, or imprisoned in the clay ? Think not
THE COMET. 147
that unbodied intelligences never commune with
those still fettered to the dust ! The eye may
not see them, nor the ear reveal their presence,
yet they may draw near to the hour of self-com-
munion, and upbuild the holy purpose, strengthen
the pure resolve, and elevate the affections ; and
when the chains of the clay are falling from the
soul, and it flutters on its unpracticed pinions,
then do they hover round to cheer, and teach,
and uplift it !
Was there a sound in the -hush of that starry
evening ? The passing pedestrian heard only
the shiver of the willow as the light breeze
sprang up, but to the ear of the thoughtful
student, there came a voice. The spirit of that
wonderful star descended and communed with
his own, just on the verge of its unfettered
existence ; and though to other eyes it was a
bright, mysterious, silent marvel, yet to him, it
breathed wisdom from above, and was an angel
" Fear not," thus murmured those gentle
sounds, " fear not ; my path is long, and to your
eyes, shrouded in obscurity, but nevertheless, it is
marked and guarded by an almighty and benefi-
cent Hand, and I cannot go astray. I could not,
if I would, shoot madly forth into space, plunging
headlong into confusion and disorder, though to
148 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
you my track seems wild and aimless. Years*
nay, centuries may pass while I am away into
what you call a fearful unknown, yet as surely
as the sun brings you day at each revolution of
your planet, so surely I return. The laws that
control my orbit are as unerring as those on
which you depend for daily bread.
" Think not my path is lone and dreary, be-
cause the light of your system does not shine
upon it. Suns innumerable burn to illumine it,
and I have a melody all my own that ever cheers
its length ; and far among those worlds, invisible
to your eye, I commune with intelligences that
know neither sin, nor tears. Do not believe that
God is the Father only of your small aggregate
of worlds, and that his wisdom and love are
limited by the confines that bind your planet-
circle. There are worlds whose light hath never
yet arrived at your own ; there are worlds so dis-
tant that their light can never reach those other
worlds, nor does the creative energy falter there,
but extends on and on, where the mind is pained
with the effort to follow ; and yet no jarring mars
the grand harmony, no orb deviates from its
marked path, no wilful planet disturbs the vast
economy. Fear you now to launch forth into
the unknown, and trust to the keeping of Provi-
THE COMET. 149
" As heaven deals with me, so with the soul.
It comes from the unknown, and stays awhile in
a part of its orbit visible to mortal eyes, but that
little portion of its great circle is soon measured,
its predestined errand accomplished, it departs far
away again into the unknown, and ye weep it as
extinguished, when it is only gone to fulfil the
designs of its creation. You mourn it as lost in
darkness. You watch its parting rays, hoping
thereby to track its viewless flight, and when the
last, soft gleam hath faded from your view, you
weep the failure of your efforts, though that
tremulous light vanished amidst the calm of the
serenest skies. Learn of me a better lesson.
As I travel into the illimitable obscure beneath a
superintending Eye, so does the soul. The
Hand that guards my orbit, guards that also of
the disembodied spirit, and it shall neither perish,
nor take one step on its immeasurable way that
is not noted of God.
" You want action, stirring life. Never, in
your world, may the mind dream of the glorious
scenes that await its energies when the vesture of
clay is laid aside, else might the ' silver cord '
be cut by the impatient hand ! Do I lie asleep
in the fields of the sky when ye see me not ? Is
the soul wrapped in unconsciousness when its
physical organs have refused any longer to be
150 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
the interpreters of its will ? Am I not chanting
the gushing happiness that dwells within me, as I
career along invisibly to all eyes, and may not
the spirit be exulting in its newly-acquired free-
dom, when ye mourn it as chained to a frozen
sleep ? Trust our Father. All mercifully hath
he cast a veil over the life beyond the grave, and
made faith your only teacher !
" Repine no more ; whether we travel in the
firmament of mortal vision, or our way be far
off into the darkness, one Hand sustains, leads,
and guards us, and to do the will of Him, our
Father, that alone is heaven, whether on earth,
or in those distant worlds that never shine on
the planet you inhabit."
The night wind murmured among the trees
with a stronger sway, and the rustling of the
leaves dissolved that spirit-communing.
A fortnight from that evening, the comet was
not seen in the heavens, and the wind that came
through the open casement around the bed of
the young student, lifted the rich brown locks
from a pulseless brow. The soul and the star
had both departed on their mysterious journey ;
but the holy calm that lay on the face of the
forsaken clay, told that the spirit had not held
communion in vain with that bright traveller of
THE LAST LOOK.
BY MRS. J. H. SCOTT.
Once more ! once more ! O, tear me not
So rudely from this coffined clay !
My heart will burst upon the spot,
Unless its swollen floods have way.
Another look, ye men of stone,
On what I ne'er again shall see;
Then let the heavy mould be thrown —
O, would its weight might fall on me !
My boy ! my precious boy ! I gaze,
As mothers oft before have done,
To treasure up, for gloomy days,
Some semblance of the buried one.
Thy cheeks are very pale, my child;
Thine eye hath lost its starry light,
And there's a spot! — my brain is wild —
Go, take him, bearers, from my sight !
152 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
Yet one more look! Why should I shrink
To view thy loathsome work, O death ?
This is the cup that all must drink,
Who hang their hopes on mortal breath.
It is his flesh, and it were dear,
Though spurned by vultures, unto me;
Away ! away ! my place is here —
Where else should childless mothers be ?
Dear little Iambi O, thou wert fair
As is the fairest morn in June,
When beauty clothes the very air,
And every bird and flower's in tune.
A merry little bee thou wert,
Drinking in bliss from every leaf,
And singing, to thy mother's heart,
A song that had no tones of grief.
O, will ye close the coffin's lid?
And must this be my last, last look?
Must that dear form for aye be hid ?
Truly is life a sealed book.
'Tis as ye say — he is in heaven;
So may I feel, when sorrow's wave
No more across my soul is driven;
But now my hopes are in — the grave.
A PRAYER AT NIGHT.
Those lone, bright spheres ! How beautiful their light
In the wide solitude of space! How far
O'er reefy shore, and bold Norwegian height,
And tropic desert, will one small, faint star
Its cheering radiance throw !
And they who toil below —
The weary voyager on the trackless sea,
The pilgrim thrown beneath the wayside tree,
O'erworn with care and pain ;
O! shall not these take heart of grace again,
And struggle on through all the awful night
Cheered by that small, sweet light?
Grant me, O God ! a high, soft star to be !
Calm, still, and bright, to trace my way in heaven,
And shed my light o'er life's tempestuous sea,
Where human hearts, like fragile barks, are driven
Mid rocks and hidden shoals.
A soul mid glorious souls —
154 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
A small, pure star within the glittering band
That high above the clouds, undimmed and grand,
In placid beauty rolls,
To herald on the weary to the land
Where all is rest and peace ; to guide the way
To heaven's unclouded day !
s. c. E.
BY MRS. E. A. BACON.
On one so good, I must believe that heaven
Sent her in kindness, that our hearts might waken
To their own loveliness, and lift themselves,
By such a reverence, from a dark, and dull,
And grovelling world."
" Where now, my Flora ? " exclaimed a merry
sunburnt son of Neptune, almost impatiently,
as his nimble companion, an earnest, glad-
looking maiden, had climbed a pile of stones and
stood intently gazing through an aperture she
had in a moment formed with her hands through
a thick hedge of wild vines and rose-bushes.
" Where now, my Flora ? verily, you are the
craziest elf I ever saw ! You need never sympa-
thize with me on the perils of a three years'
cruise after this, nor tremble when I tell you of
our course round the Maelstrom. Believe me, I
shall take the helm from the most skilful Nor-
wegian with the utmost confidence in the future,
for I have come to the sober conclusion, that to
156 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
chase a romantic jade like you through every
crook of the woods she may choose to go, and to
be obliged to leap ditches, and climb loose walls
to satisfy her whims for every wild thing she
spies, is one of the most perilous situations in
which a poor fellow like myself can be placed."
" O hush, uncle, you will disturb them ! " said
his companion, whose raised finger and low
tones betokened an intense interest in the scene
she was witnessing.
" Disturb what ? the cows ? for I truly believe
you are nearer a barn-yard than aught else ; "
and giving her a comical glance, our sailor
leaped up on the rocks, and, encircling her waist,
made a slight attempt to draw her away from
her position. She knew him too well for that to
succeed, and dexterously clasping his willing
neck, which had spurned many a heavier yoke,
she bent his head to the aperture. A moment
more, and a truant tear, which the sailor would
fain have kept in its fountain, was coursing its
way down his brown cheek.
" Do you know that group ? " asked Flora.
" How should I, child ? " was the quick an-
swer. " Since last I trod these paths, changes
have been going on with steps so noiseless and
gradual as to be unperceived by you ; but, alas,
for us poor rovers ! the faces that looked kindly
THE CONVALESCENT. 157
on us on one return, become changed ere
another, and youthful eyes look strangely on us
with no welcome. Those children have never
danced on the green to the music of my whistle,
Flora, for they have entered on life's voyage
during my absence."
" Speak softly, uncle, for the least interruption
would cause those little nervous hands to over-
throw the flowing cup of new milk. And hear
that chubby, loving-eyed boy, how he chides his
Jowler for the least manifestation of joy, and the
robin on the hedge twitters now too free for him.
Ah, he knows, though a child, how the spirit
within that shrine of their love has struggled
to be free, and he fears lest the breath of this
soft summer air should bear it away. But look
again ; do you know that pale, calm face ? I
shall not marvel if you do not, for sickness has
added ten years to its aspect."
" No, no ! Do n't trouble me with the thought
of how soon I, too, may be forgotten."
" Nay, my good uncle, you forget your good
deeds sooner than I do. Why, I believe that
dog would remember you, and — "
" Yes, yes ! I have it all now, my girl, fresh
as yesterday memories. I remember, when I
had bidden you all 'good-by,' and plodded off
like a whipped school-boy, imagining myself the
158 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
most wretched being in existence, I was passing
the brook, and looking a sad farewell to the
willows that sheltered me in my angling sports,
when a young form caught my eye, attempting
to tread a plank I had thrown over the stream
the day before, to try the courage of little Ned.
I saw her object was to gain the opposite shore
to save her blind father who had mistaken his
path, and was walking directly to the stream.
One glance more and the plank was overturned,
and the girl in the water. Not a moment was
lost ; I leaped in, and, at the same moment, a dog
bounded from the thicket, and together we bore
her to her father's arms. I saw her safe home,
and the wind being fair — or to me very contrary
— I hastened to set sail from port, and from that
hour to this, I have never heard any thing of the
little martyr ; but many a time, as I have lain
swinging in my hammock, I have thought of that
pale, dripping figure, and the joyful look of her
blind father as he clasped her in his arms and
blessed me ; and pleasant thoughts have crossed
my mind of one good deed done, and they have
made my sleep sweeter. But really, Flora, as I
look at that languid, colorless face, I feel almost
persuaded that I restored her to life only to pass
through trials and sufferings. "
" Uncle, let us slide softly down the rocks, for
THE CONVALESCENT. 159
I fear Jowler's quick ear will detect spies, and
then I will tell you a little of that invalid's history,
as I have learned and known it. But to you, who
have listened to many t tales of battle and of
wreck,' I fear ' the slight and simple annals of
the poor ' will be but trite."
"Misjudge me not, girl," replied the sailor,
evidently deeply moved ; " though I am bold,
rough, and hardy, my heart is yet young, and
who knows but that you may give me a happy
thought that will cheer and strengthen me amid
storm and peril ? "
They had soon found a quiet retreat in the
beautiful wood, where the wondrous power of
nature's loveliness to wake up the gentler feel-
ings, was confessed ; and as the sailor there sat
on a mossy trunk, while his niece lay at his feet,
looking up with witching sweetness into his face,
you might have seen through the progress of the
story, a rich illustration of love's spell over the
sterner elements in our nature.
" Uncle," said Flora, musingly, " do you re-
member the account I once read you of the
artist, who, after he had painted the Twelve to
his satisfaction, threw down his pencils, exclaim-
ing, ' I cannot paint the face of Christ ! ' Just as
difficult I fear it is for me, unspiritual as I am,
to attempt to portray, in all its loveliness, the
160 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
character of so meek and devoted a Christian as
Amie Grahame. The story of her parents is
tinged a little with romance. Her mother was a
noble Scotch lassie, the pride of home, and her
hand was sought even by the laird of her own
native village ; but, true to the dictates of a
generous nature and a faithful heart, she turned
aside from all, and would marry none but her
own true love, Allan Grahame. Blind though
he was, it was enough for her, as she often said,
that he had been the kindest and gentlest friend
of her youth, and his sweet voice or mellow flute
echoing among the 4 banks and braes ' of her
native stream, had more charm to her than all
the world besides. And then, too, she thought,
should she who had long been his tried friend,
forsake him, who would be as she had been,
sight as it were to those veiled orbs ? Should
she desert him, the remembrance of the gloom
she had added to his darkness, would be bitter-
ness in the sweetest cup that could be presented
to her by fortune. Her choice was made, and
her ambitious father rebelled at it, so that he
spurned the meek Allan from his presence ; and
even her mother, who had ever been tender and
kind, had cherished too proud hopes for her
bonny daughter to listen patiently to the story of
her love. Is it strange that the light and beauty
THE CONVALESCENT. 161
of home soon fled, and the music of her favorite
stream became sad and melancholy ? Is it a
marvel that she sought less for the birds in their
nests, and watched them more as they rose on
joyous wings and were lost in the blue ether ?
America, at that time, contained a few of her
dear relatives, and soon our country became to
her and Allan
' The one bright land, where they might dwell
Where 't was no sin to love too well.'
His friends offered to assist him to find the free-
dom they deemed holy, and after long and sor-
rowful struggles of the various affections that
bind to home and kindred, they secretly bade
adieu to the scenes of the heart's romance, and
crossed the ocean. And here — "
" Tut, child, do not say a word in approval of
that course," interrupted the sailor, " or I shall
be obliged to read you a lecture. It is better to
obey father and mother, even though severe
and stern trials may be the consequence. Fa-
thers and mothers are seldom made of adamant ;
besides, but little real happiness ever comes of
these runaway matches.'"
" Do n't fear, uncle," was the reply. " Many
circumstances might convince the mind of that,
particularly the bitter grief both Allan and his
162 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
wife experienced, on accidentally hearing of the
death of a broken-hearted mother. They did
not come to our village until they had been
several years in this country, and then their out-
ward circumstances gave evidence of privation
and suffering; but beautiful, amid all, were the
tender devotedness and holy love that shone on
every dark path of their existence, and cheered
them to relieve each other's burdens, and direct
aright the mind of their darling Amie. They
sought no society, and none, save a few who
loved to do good, visited them. A few years
only were granted them in this pleasant retreat,
for continued care and anxiety wore away the
health of the gentle wife ; and when Amie was in
her girlhood, she was left motherless, and more
the protector, than the protected of her father.
Ah, that poor blind man ! Never shall I forget,
though then a child, his silent look of agony,
when the burning tears rolled from his sightless
eyes ; those eyes on which the dying wife looked
sweetly as she said, ' They will be opened in
heaven ! '
" The thoughtful instruction and discipline of
Amie's mind, and the seclusion of her situation,
gave her the dignity of a woman ; added to this,
she was skilled in many little accomplishments,
in which the delicate taste and fine perception of
THE CONVALESCENT. 163
her father delighted to encourage her ; but far
down beneath all these graces, which gave a
zest to labor, was a deep well-spring of devotion
and religious faith, whose clear and sparkling
waters calmed and subdued the fevered spirit,
and gave fresh charms to the lowly man's ex-
" The good are always protected, and it was
not long before kind friends offered assistance,
which has been amply repaid by Amie. I can-
not date the precise time when she commenced
her mission as teacher to the village children ;
but, perhaps, I should say her first lessons were
given among the bright and beautiful scenes of
nature, when she pointed to the delicate lily as
an evidence of our Father's goodness and pro-
tection, and subdued the mischief-loving spirit of
little bird-stealers with the assurance, that not a
sparrow falls to the ground without His notice.
Her school has truly been one of spiritual cul-
ture, and there is not a parent around to whom
she is not very dear.
" A long and severe sickness has reduced her
to the helplessness of her present condition, but
it has been ; the sweetness of her couch ' to
realize how her instructions have been blessed.
There has been no long, dreary vacation among
her pupils, but a desire has been fostered by
164 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
each little mind to so progress during her sick-
ness, that the smile of delighted astonishment
may be won from her when health returns. I
wish you could see them sitting beneath the old
elm, conning their lessons, and alternately hear-
ing each other recite. And then, too, the care
they take that each day she shall receive some
token of their remembrance, — the cup of new
milk, the delicate custard, the fresh flowers from
the rose-bush, the pinks and the daisies, that
never, till now, were seen to blossom beside
their parents' doors. Many a mother has dis-
covered how sweet is the gratification of her
child in performing little acts of kindness, and
their own hearts have become thereby more
" When Amie was first able to bear the light,
and sit out in the open air, it was a source of
much sorrow to her devoted scholars that so few
birds were singing around the cot ; and it was a
touching exhibition of true and ardent affection
to see how eagerly they gave attention to blind
Allan's instructions as he taught them to sing ;
and soon their sweet, bird-like voices, blended
with the soft strains of Allan's flute, came, soft-
ened by the distance, like fairy music, to the ear
of the convalescent.
" But here we are at the gate ! " exclaimed
THE CONVALESCENT. 165
Flora ; for they had almost unconsciously risen
from their seats in the wood, and slowly had
taken the path towards home. u I have chatted
too long, uncle, — "
" No, no ! But tell me what was Amie's
mother's maiden name ? "
u Carlton, I believe. But why do you ask ? "
" Because I am an inquisitive Yankee, to be
sure ; but there 's some one standing at the end
gate who may ask you a more puzzling ques-
tion," said the sailor dryly ; and away he darted,
leaving Flora with a smile and a blush on her
I would that the artist who has caught so true
a picture of the good' schoolmistress when she
first ventured forth from the sick room, could
have passed our village a short time after. The
sound of glad voices would have awakened him
from his reverie, and he would have turned
from the dusty highway into a green lane that
led to a cool and delightful grotto. There,
from one of the almost perpendicular hills which
surrounded and shut out the scene from the
careless eye, he would have sketched on his
canvass a smooth, grassy plain, through which
ran a silvery brook that leaped and shouted amid
rocks, until here, like a tired child, it seemed
166 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
glad to dally with the violets, and murmur only
soft lullabies. And the group there ! How I
should love to have seen it immortalized by the
touch of his eloquent pencil ! There, again,
would have been the village schoolmistress, sit-
ting in a flower-trimmed mossy chair, beneath
an exquisitely-wrought canopy, her eye less
languid, her form more erect, and a brighter
glow of health tinging her cheek. Her blind
father would be seen reclining at her feet on the
grass, his countenance beaming with animation
and joy as his fingers moved lightly over his
guitar ; and, as he turned his head rapidly to the
several parts of the groups, you would not have
thought that he could ken any less than the rest.
Groups of children would be rambling around, or
dancing to the blind man's music, and our friend
Jowler would be leaping about here and there,
and every where, almost frantic with joy. Such
a scene could not be painted, for it was " ever
charming and ever new."
But what meaneth this ? It is the children's
fete to celebrate the complete recovery of their
friend. But why do Flora and her uncle inter-
rupt the circle by the introduction of a stranger ?
We must go back to the sailor's last question,
and do him the justice to say, that it was a better
motive than mere curiosity that induced him to
THE CONVALESCENT. 167
ask for Amie's mother's maiden name. The
answer was enough to settle many questionings
in his own mind, and induce him to travel far in
search of a Scotchman who came passenger in
the last ship, and who often paced the deck with
him during the night watches, confiding to him
his history.- He knew that man must be Amie's
uncle, who would deem it the happiest day in
his life which should restore to him his blind
brother Allan, that he might minister to his
wants. Joyful was the meeting amid the one
circle, and beautiful was the scene when every
member of the whole party paused in glad aston-
ishment, and Amie clasped her hands fervently,
and gazed up with overflowing eyes, exclaiming,
" O, my poor blind father ! God has heard my
prayers for the protection of your declining
years ! "
" Praise God ! " was the blind man's response.
" He has blotted out my transgressions, and my
iniquity is covered. O, that she were here, for
a moment, whom I won to a home of poverty
and trial ! "
Glad were the choral songs that echoed through
the glen as Amie returned to her home with her
father, and new friend, and the overpowered,
kindhearted sailor, escorted by the multitude.
Flora parted from her uncle at the gate, but
168 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
hailed him, as she remembered he was to hasten
away. " To-morrow you sail, do you not ? "
" I expect to."
" What will this day's deed do for you when
away ? "
u O, it is all here," said the sailor, as he
placed his broad hand on his heart, with a most
solemn and good look. " And this I leave for
you : that if I were a woman, I would rather
be the humble Amie Grahame, winning young
hearts to knowledge and virtue, than to wear the
queenliest crown that ever pressed a human
brow. Be good. Farewell ! "
WINTER AND SPRING.
BY JULIUS DODD.
[The promising young author of the following lines died, about a
year since, of consumption. His friends will be gratified by their
preservation in this volume. — Ed.]
Once Winter dwelt by the Frozen Sea,
In a lordly palace hall;
Each floor was formed of the stainless snow,
And of ice each lofty wall.
The roof was decked with glittering gems,
Suspended in long array,
That shone like the rainbow's brilliant hues
In the golden light of day.
And when the bright stars began to move
Through the blue and boundless arch,
Like " an army of spectres, pale and wan,"
On its swift and noiseless march,
The rooms were filled with a softened glire,
That mocked at the noontide beams,
And pillar and dome, like burnished steel,
Shot forth their unearthly gleams.
170 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
There the wind-harp poured its music low,
In floods on the stilly air;
And flames rose up in the northern sky.
Like a maiden's streaming hair,
When the bands are loosed that bound it long,
In their firm and strong embrace,
And it falls, in thick and clustering curls,
Around her beauteous face.
But Spring found out where the old man dwelt,
Before many months went by,
And flew to his wild and lone retreat,
Through the deep and dark blue sky;
For Winter had cast, in distant days,
A blot on her spotless name,
And dimmed, with false and slanderous tales,
The shield of her virgin fame.
She reached the hall ; but her balmy breath
No sooner had fallen on
The o'erarching dome, so pale and cold,
Than pillar and all were gone;
Like the fragile flower that spreads its leaves
Ere the morning sun has rose,
And drinks his beams through the fleeting day,
Then dies at evening's close.
WINTER AND SPRING. 171
But Winter fled with a noiseless step,
When he saw that Spring was nigh,
For he knew he had done the maiden wrong.,
And feared the glance of her eye.
She followed him over the mighty sea,
And over the wide-spread land ;
And still, when Winter goes swiftly by,
The gladsome Spring is at hand.
BY MISS M. A. DODD.
Life is but a changeful story,
Of its end we little know;
All its years are but a moment,
Shadow-like they come and go.
Careless, thoughtless, of the' future,
To its dark revealings blind ;
Phantoms we are ever chasing ;
Phantoms of the eye or mind.
Does the heart delight in beauty?
Rosy cheeks, and sparkling eyes?
Ah, the form they are adorning,
Is a spectre in disguise.
All the pleasure we are seeking,
All the charms we sigh to clasp,
Are no sooner to us given,
Than they perish in our grasp.
Hope and joy we vainly follow,
By their smiles deceitful led ;
When at last we seem to reach them,
Hope is gone, and joy is dead.
Faith and love awhile deceive us;
But their trial is at hand;
Faith's fond promises are broken,
Love is written in the sand.
Shall we thus be mocked with shadows?
Beauty changing into dust!
Is there nothing real to bless us ?
Nothing to reward our trust ?
Nothing here! each dream shall vanish,
Like the wave from off the shore, *
Which, borne onward to the ocean,
Laves the same green spot no more.
But when life's short day is ended,
And our phantom race is o'er,
We shall taste and see the blessings,
Which were but a shade before.
Loveliness will be immortal ;
Time shall nothing more destroy;
While beside us dwell forever,
Faith, and hope, and love, and joy.
BY MISS S. C. EDGARTON.
It was a pleasant autumn day. A party of
young girls were seated upon a mossy trunk,
which fell along the bank of a little brook. It
was a romantic spot. Nature never formed a
lovelier retreat -for the innocent and young. At
the farther end of the dell the brook leaped over
a ledge of gray rock, making a dreamy, delicious
melody, peculiarly fitted to the solitude which
surrounded it. A crumbling arch, not of ruined
castle or time-worn tower, but which had once
served for the abutment of a water-mill, long
since decayed, and passed away from the earth,
stood beside" the cascade just at the point where
it fell over the precipice.
The stream murmured and flashed along over
the mossy stones below, and wound gracefully
beneath the trunks of prostrate trees, and be-
tween the green turfs of the valley. The dell
was walled in by high ledges of limestone, in
which the green briars of summer had taken
root, and from which they streamed out like
banners in the wind. The tall pines and cedars
grew upon the summits, and shut in the beautiful
glen from every eye but that of heaven.
Such was the spot where these fair young
beings were assembled ; and its beauty and soli-
tude, and the delicious murmurs of the little
brook that glanced along at their feet, seemed to
have had an influence upon their spirits. Their
conversation was low and gentle, yet it had
character and interest.
" Why should it be that we have a faculty
given to us which has no answering reality ? "
said Leonore, a girl of much manner, and more
" In this glorious universe, Leonore," replied
Ellen Werner, the loveliest and gentlest of the
group, " there is enough of the scientifically
marvellous for its exercise, is there not ? "
" But why need we always wait for mathe-
matical demonstrations before giving credence to
facts established by innumerable testimonies ? I
thought you were a believer in miracles, Ellen."
" I am, wherever the miracle is wrought by
the Spirit of God."
" And why limit the operations of that
Spirit ? "
"I do not, Leonore. But I disavow its
176 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
presence in every idle prediction of astrology,
and in the delirious fantasies and prophetic
ravings of wandering beggars and maniacs. I
believe it only works for great and holy ends,
and speaks through great and holy personages."
They were discussing the art of divination, a
subject to which their thoughts had been directed
by the sudden appearance of old Kate Mossie at
the foot of the glen, striding along toward the
village. Kate was a half-crazed, vagrant old
creature, who lived, no one knew how, and slept,
no one knew where. She had a stated circuit
which she regularly travelled every quarter-year,
and her appearance was generally calculated
with as much certainty as the return of a comet,
or the transit of Mercury.
She visited most of the families in the villages
which she entered, and generally, by inadvertent
questioning, and close observation, gathered up a
good portion of every domestic history. But she
was no gossip, and the knowledge she thus
gleaned she applied to her own private aims.
She had, evidently, some very acute faculties of
the mind, which her mania did not render obtuse,
and in the singular delirium which possessed her,
she seemed to enjoy their exercise more than she
probably would have done in a more rational
Kate had become a welcome visiter in most
houses about the country, for as she never
tarried more than an hour at any place, and was
amusing and good-natured, it seemed a relief to
the monotony of country life, (we mean as it is
passed by those who depend for incident upon
human actions,) to have it broken in upon by
one who had stories enough to be entertaining,
and peculiarities enough to render herself an ob-
ject of interest and amusement. Kate some-
times, though rarely, would condescend to gratify
the young people by giving them a peep into
futurity through the exercise of her prophetic
gifts ; and perhaps it was this, more than all
things else, which made her so general a favorite.
On the occasion of which we write, she was
taking her usual route over the hills, (she always
chose the hills and woodlands for her thorough-
fares,) to the village of C , when she was
perceived by the young party we have already
introduced. Leonore started up, and proposed
that Kate be. enticed into the glen, to spend an
hour in unfolding to them their destinies. The
proposition was eagerly seconded, and two of the
most vivacious of the party started instantly upon
the errand. While they stood parleying with
her, just as she was about to wade through the
stream, Ellen began to express her honest
178 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
scruples about the propriety of tampering with
the future. Leonore had a strong tincture of the
marvellous in her mental conformation, and
endeavored, upon philosophical principles, to
substantiate the truth of fortune-telling and other
magical arts. In the midst of their discussion,
their companions returned, attended by Kate.
Kate had a fantastical mode of dress which
added not a little to the general picturesqueness
of her appearance. Like most of her class, she
was singularly tall and attenuate. Her long
skirt, which she always wore with a trail, was of
a brilliant crimson color ; the bodice was' of an
equally brilliant yellow, and the sleeves of an
emerald green. These colors she said she wore
because she was a child of nature, and in the
autumn of life ; for nature always robes herself
in many hues during the season of her decay,
and she was bound to follow her example in the
same way that the children of fashion follow the
vicissitudes of fashion. On her head she wore a
blue turban trimmed with eagle's feathers, dis-
posed in the form of a star, and fastened in the
centre by a large gilt button. This was a
symbol of the sky, with .its jewels of stars.
So gaudy and fantastic a dress could scarcely
have been designed by a sane imagination ; but
it pleased poor Kate, and her patrons were kind
enough to humor her by furnishing the parti-
colored materials, whenever her wardrobe need-
ed amendment. In fact, she would wear nothing
of a soberer hue, declaring that the white robe
of winter would be given her ere long, and till
then, she should deck herself in the livery of
autumn. This odd attire had gained her the
cognomen of Queen Kate, by which title she
was always recognized and addressed.
She stood before the young ladies with an
aspect in which gravity seemed struggling with
good-humor. Their salutations were returned
by a pompous wave of the hand, and, at their
request, she sank, rather than sat down upon the
mossy log which they vacated. Leonore, having
been the first to propose her presence, was the
first, also, to address her.
" Queen Kate," she began, in a tone of deep
respect, " it being granted that you have the rare
and wonderful gift of prophecy, may not we be
permitted, through your wisdom, to penetrate the
veil cast over our future destinies ? We know
it is a great favor to ask of you, but we shall
highly appreciate your kindness, and deeply
reverence the mysteries of your knowledge."
Queen Kate was subdued by the courtliness of
this speech, so different from what she was
accustomed to receive from the young and gay ;
180 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
but she found it necessary to feign a little re-
" Thoughtless children ! Why seek ye to pry
into those sorrows which the future kindly veils
from your sight ? There is not one of you who
bears a charmed life. Toils, and troubles, and
blighted hopes, are before you all. Why bring
them to your hearts too soon ? "
" That we may be prepared for them," re-
plied Leonore, promptly.
'■' Queen Kate argues wisely," said Ellen.
" Why should we, indeed, bring sorrow to our
hearts too soon. ' Sufficient for the day is the
evil thereof,' said our Saviour ; and surely he
Kate's brows lowered a little at this, and she
caught Ellen's hand. " Well may you say so,
young lady," — and then glancing again at her
sweet face her voice softened, and she added —
" and yet the future has stores for you from which
you need not shrink. But was ever a woman
born to love, who was not born also to grieve ?
Ah, young lady, there will be many to love you,
and you will love one ; too deeply will you love
him, and he will die."
" Very likely, Queen Kate ; that is the destiny
of us all. None of us is immortal Aere, thank
Heaven ! " replied Ellen, smiling, and drawing
away her hand. " My fate seems to be nothing
wonderful, after all. More than half of woman-
kind are born to the very same fortune."
Several others crowded around, and each re-
ceived a word of encouragement, dashed with
bitterness ; for Queen Kate had experience
enough of human life to know that in any cup
the sweets are not unmingled. Leonore was the
last to submit to the art of the royal crone. She
approached her, and knelt down on the turf at
her side. She was deeply agitated. The color
came and Went fitfully in her brown cheeks, and
her dark eyes sparkled with enthusiasm.
Queen Kate fixed her keen gray eyes upon
her face. She knew that every word she might
utter would sink deeply into that impassioned
heart. Yet she would not read to her any
common destiny. She grasped her hand, and
seemed to gaze very intently upon its delicate
lines. Leonore's agitation increased every mo-
" I dare not read your destiny, young lady,
for it is sad and dark."
" The very reason why you should reveal it,
then," answered Leonore, her lip quivering with
" Dear Leonore," whispered Ellen, coming
behind her, and putting her arms soothingly
182 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
about her neck. " Do not be so wrought upon
by an idle fancy. You know, or should know,
that these prophecies are but the capricious in-
vention of an insane mind. Either laugh at
them, or refuse to listen."
Leonore heard her not, or, if so, paid no heed
to her gentle remonstrance. Queen Kate, sus-
pecting Ellen's whisper to have some reference
to herself, determined not to be baffled in her
" Since you will know your destiny, then,
know it ! and may your spirit receive strength to
meet it. It needs no supernatural powers to
pronounce you a child of genius ; it is in your
eye and in your voice. You are beautiful, too ;
but for all these gifts, your destiny is dark. You
will love early and passionately, but vain, to you,
will be a hope of return. To one as fair, but
less gifted, will be given the heart you seek.
(Here she glanced at Ellen.) All after is dark,
lady, though your life long continues."
" Insanity ! I knew it ! " exclaimed Leonore,
and fainted at the feet of the prophetess.
Queen Kate, alarmed at the effect of her own
idle words, strode rapidly down the glen, and
disappeared. Ellen occupied herself in bathing
the brow of her friend from the brook that sang
carelessly at her side, while the rest of the party
stood, some terrified, and others indignant, watch-
ing her gradual restoration.
Four years have passed over the heads of
those fair girls since their meeting in the glen :
and how much of their predicted destiny is
accomplished ? Some changes have come to
Leonore ; her parents are both in their graves,
her kindred scattered in remote lands, and her-
self an inmate of the family of Ellen's father.
Imagination has lost none of its control over her
ardent and susceptible temperament. She is
still daily anticipating the fulfilment of old Kate's
" The shadows of my destiny are beginning to
fall, Ellen," remarked she, one morning, shortly
after her removal to her new home. " My life
has already joined its course with yours ; but
they will not long glide together in this low,
sweet, musical chime. O, Ellen, there are rocks
and wildernesses which mine must yet traverse ;
but may yours forever flow amid green vales,
giving birth to beauty and peace wherever its
course may lead."
" Amen to the last clause, my Leo," replied
Ellen, playfully twining a few geranium leaves
in her friend's hair, as she sat brooding over a
dull book ; " and as for the rocks and wilder-
184 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
nesses — why, my dear girl, do you not know
that a stream is never so grand as when it strug-
gles along a rough channel, and never so truly
beneficent as when imparting brightness and
fertility to a barren waste ? "
" But have you not read of torrents imbedded
in deep ravines, shut out from the light of heaven
by overhanging cliffs, singing only a low, sobbing
dirge to the vampires that haunt their borders,
arid " —
" O yes, indeed ! " interrupted Ellen, " but
those must have been wicked torrents, and have
wandered sadly from the path of light where we
walk ; so let us leave them to their merited fate,
while we glide along at our own sweet wills,
doing and receiving good in all our course.
And now, my dear Leonore, leave that stupid
book, and come and work for me. I have a
subject for your pencil which I wish you to exe-
cute within a month. The picture is designed
for a benevolent object, and I know you will not
fail to bestow upon it the best touches of your
own peculiar genius."
" Some pastoral scene, as quiet as your dear
self, I know ; with a few meek little lambs sleep-
ing among the sleepy flowers, and a little brook
meandering silently between grassy banks.'"
" Not altogether so tame as that ; nevertheless,
a scene in which there are no tempests nor
clouds. But come and see for yourself."
• Following Ellen into a pleasant little apart-
ment, she found her easel set in the most con-
venient and pleasant position, the colors mixed,
the canvass spread, and the subject laid out upon
the table before her. Leonore stopped, turned
pale, and looked inquiringly at her friend.
" ' I wonder who has done this ? ' says that
look. A certain young artist, who has been a
fortnight under our roof, without exciting the
least interest in your loving heart. Yet see how
he has been secretly at work for you."
" And at whose instigation ? "
" Mine, of course. Now do n't begin to sus-
pect I have a peculiar influence over the young
gentleman, and so, out of respect to Queen
Kate's prophecy, directly fancy yourself broken-
hearted. Cousin Randolph is the last person in
the world to fulfil such a prediction."
" Why so ? " was the carefully-careless re-
" Because he has not a single heart-breaking
quality in his nature, being neither handsome,
eloquent, accomplished, nor wonderfully intel-
lectual. In short, a very common-place, good-
natured young man."
" A flattering description," replied Leonore, in
186 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
a tone of ill-concealed pique, as she sat down to
her task. " Is this the scene you wish me to
paint ? " She held up a chalk sketch of the little
glen described in the opening of our story.
" Yes, and please paint Queen Kate in her
sublimest attitude, looking into the illimitable
vistas of futurity, with yourself kneeling at her
" But first, may I ask for whom the picture is
intended ? "
" For myself."
" What will you do with it ? "
" Hang it in my own room."
" I thought you had designed it for a benevo-
" I have. Benevolent on your part, to make
me happy, dear Leonore, when you are away."
" My sweet Ellen, it shall be done. Pray
leave me awhile to myself, till I can feel the
inspiration of my subject ; for there is inspiration
in it to me, despite the light tone which the scene
assumes to your mind."
Ellen, having parted from her friend with a
kiss of girlish love, pure as it is artless, passed
through the hall into the library, and thence to a
little balcony overlooking the garden. Here
she unexpectedly encountered cousin Randolph.
She was about to retreat, but he detained her.
" Pray stop a moment, my gentle Ellen, and
tell me what good deeds you have been doing,
that you look so beautiful. 1 '
" Compliments from Randolph Werner ! I
should not have expected them."
" Nay, do not be vexed that I call you beauti-
ful, for you came to me so like a vision of some-
thing divine — Pardon, dear cousin, I will stop.
I perceive you are offended. "
" I thought you were not given to flattery.
At least, I presumed myself to be exempt from
listening to it."
" Ellen, you mistake me. I spoke in the en-
thusiasm of the admiration I felt for one who is
always so good and kind. You know me of old,
Ellen. I trust we do not stand on terms of
ceremony and reserve."
"Certainly not, Randolph. But I trust you
will never again call me beautiful, or divine."
" Well, then, I will call you dear, and excel-
lent, and kind. But tell me a word of — Miss
" She is well, and employed in doing good."
" That I might naturally suppose. But are
you sure she does not despise me ? "
" Yes, very sure."
" Why, then, does she avoid me so carefully,
and treat me so coolly ? "
188 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
" Because she cares so much for you."
" I can 't believe it, Ellen."
" The violet that you gave her a week ago,
still graces the little vase upon her table, its only
" Is that the only proof? "
" The book in which you sketched us, as we
sat reading together, one evening, has been with-
drawn from the library, and is laid choicely aside
in her own apartment."
" I believe you are the flatterer," said Ran-
dolph, in the joyous enthusiasm of the moment,
caressing her with the playfulness of younger
Randolph and Ellen had been mates at school
and at play for thirteen years ; and the close
communion of feeling and pursuits had bound
them in a relation like that of brother and sister.
Their intimacy had only been disturbed by Ran-
dolph's four years' absence in the city, from
which he had recently returned, and during
which absence they had preserved an unbroken
correspondence. It was supposed by the world
generally, that an engagement was existing be-
tween them. So far from that, the word love
had never passed their lips in reference to each
other, and it dwelt in their hearts only in the
gentle modification which it had assumed in
childhood. It was the frank, faithful, all-recipro-
cating affection of pure hearts and kindred tastes.
They thought, felt, and acted alike. There
never came a collision between their joys, or
hopes, or sorrows.
It might, perhaps, be supposed, that an attach-
ment like this would supersede and prevent any
of an intenser nature. With Ellen it did ; with
her cousin it did not ; and when, in the sincerity
of his confidence, he told her of his love for
Leonore, the unselfish, pure-hearted, generous
Ellen, with the lavish kindness of a heart all
inwrought with heaven, promised him her sym-
pathy, her encouragement, her untiring devotion
to his success. And having given this promise,
she fulfilled it with the beautiful zeal of a true
and tender heart, whose mission is to do good,
and naught else forever.
Ellen had sometimes but a melancholy pros-
pect before her. Leonore — that captivating
child of genius — so melancholy, so intensely
affectionate, so distrustful of an answering love,
how could she be moulded into the confiding,
gentle, religious being, meet for the companion-
ship of a spirit so generous as that of Randolph ?
Yet this was the task which Ellen had vowed in
her heart to accomplish ; for she knew that less
than this would fail to secure the happiness of
those who were very dear to her.
190 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
She had commenced her work, by disposses-
sing Leonore of her melancholy fancy, that the
shadows of her destiny, as she termed the pro-
phecies of Queen Kate, were drawing near, in
the consummation of the long-reported engage-
ment between Randolph and herself. Ellen's
carelessly spoken words, her light-hearted tones,
had assured her ; and when left to herself, she
half-audibly exclaimed, " That heart is too sunny
for love ; or if it love ever, it will be the tame
affection which could never satisfy him. ' Com-
mon-place, good-natured young man ! ' O, Ellen,
what an estimate of that magnificent character ! "
If Ellen's estimate were a faint one, Leonore's
might well be called extravagant ; for though
very intelligent, and very cultivated, both in
mind and heart, Randolph had few of those
qualities which constitute magnificence of char-
acter. He was content to be a good and useful
common man ; he aspired to no brilliancy, no
renown. In his profession he stood high, but at
no dazzling altitude ; his progress was steadily
onward toward the standard of classic excellence.
The next day, Leonore was sitting in her little
room at work. Her heart was filled with a
generous love for Ellen, and she had almost un-
consciously finished her figure upon the canvass,
while the others remained yet in dim outline.
She was disturbed by a light tread near her ;
and looking up, her eyes met those of Randolph,
who stood now quite at her side.
" I fear I am an intruder," he hastened to say ;
" but as I was passing toward the library, the
door stood so invitingly ajar, I ventured to break
in upon your study. You have been industrious,
Miss Davieson, and what a beautiful work you
have accomplished ! Ellen, to the life, with all
her grace and sweetness. She is just the model
for an artist or a poet.
' A creature not too bright or good
For human nature's daily food ;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.' "
Strange what trifles will suffice to destroy the
new-born confidence of a distrustful temper.
Leonore was displeased with the very frankness
which should have assured her.
" Ellen is very beautiful," she coldly replied.
" Yes, and good as beautiful," he added, hap-
py in pursuing any subject which allowed him
communion with Leonore. " I have known her
long and intimately, and have never yet been
able to discover a fault in her temper, nor, I had
almost said, a weakness in her mind, save those
amiable tendernesses which belong to all femi-
192 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
Leonore suppressed the spasm at her heart,
and, conscious that she was feeling ungenerous
toward one who was always kind to her, she
exclaimed, with an enthusiasm natural to her
impulsive temperament, " I, too, have known her
long and well, and can testify that she is the
very soul of tenderness and truth ! " As she
said this, she looked up, and Randolph's eyes
were upon her, full of love and admiration. She
misinterpreted the glance, and thought the ten-
derness so visible there, was all for Ellen. Her
countenance again grew rigid, and again Ran-
dolph's hopes subsided.
" That picture has a history, so Ellen told me,
but the details I know not. That tall figure in
outline must be Queen Kate ! Do tell me, is the
old creature yet alive ? I hope she will live
long. She is the only one of the Meg Merilies
race I have ever met. For the honor of ro-
mance, I hope there will be always some linger-
ing remnants of this picturesque character."
" I confess a penchant for them myself,
particularly for old Kate Mossie," replied Leo-
nore, pleased that she had met some one at last
who could sympathize with her in her passion
for the crone race ; " she has wandered over
our hills so long, and has made our woodlands
ring with so many of her wild and crazy bal«
lads, that she may be said to belong to the
poetry of our country, almost the only romantic
being we can boast ' in these degenerate days.'
It may be said of her, as Wordsworth has said of
' She is known to every star,
And every wind that blows.' "
" Ah, yes ! and Wordsworth has brought forth
from the humble retreats of life, as many of
these unique and poetical beings as even the
Border Minstrel, though of a different cast, per-
haps. Scott's are of a wilder nature, more im-
perious, weird-like, and lawless ; I think I may
add, unnatural, at least as ice see nature. Words-
worth's are the simple produce of the common
day, the lowly vagrants from destitute homes, or
the wrecks of gentle natures which could not
weather the storms of grief and sin, with which
human life so fearfully teems."
" Yet I do not admire Wordsworth."
" Do not ? I thought all women admired, or,
at least, loved him. I am sorry he is not to your
taste, for he is a favorite of mine."
" You will find sympathy, then, with Ellen."
" Yes ; Ellen and I have grown up under his
influences, have made him our oracle among
poets. Strange that you are not pleased with
194 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
him, he is so pare, so heavenly-hearted, so gentle
and beautiful in his philosophy."
" Yes, but what are a whole tribe of Simon
Lees to one Lara, a thousand Peter Bells to a
solitary Conrad, or tens of thousands of Wan-
derers to the glorious, the immortal Harold ? "
" O, Miss Davieson ! but you cannot love
those moody spirits, those dark misanthropes
upon whom Byron has lavished the wealth of his
inexhaustible genius. I can easily imagine how
they may captivate the interest through the
splendid drapery of poetry which is thrown
around them ; but abstractly, in themselves, Miss
Davieson, I cannot believe they strongly enlist
Leonore was not pleased that he disagreed
with her ; she thought he did not show sufficient
deference to her taste ; and then, too, every sen-
timent he had expressed was but a transcript of
Ellen's opinions. He perceived that she was
growing cold, and anxious to avert the cloud, he
again alluded to the painting.
" From the little sketch which you use for a
guide, I judge that Kate is giving you examples
of her skill in palmistry. Ah, well ! such amuse-
ments are pleasing to children.
' But scarce I praise their venturous part
Who tamper with such dangerous art.' "
" Then you are a believer, are you ? " in-
quired Leonore, with much interest.
" Not in the art itself, but in the morbid effect
it produces upon young and ardent imaginations.
I believe many minds are vitally weakened by
the spell which these idle prophecies weave about
them ; and then, too, this superstition is so at
variance with reason, philosophy, religion!"
" I see not why, Mr. Werner. God delegated
the spirit of prophecy to his servants of old, and
Christians do not deny that there is ' reason,
philosophy, religion,' in the foresight of David
and Isaiah. Even Miriam is permitted to retain
the fame of a prophetess, notwithstanding the
efforts which have been made to rob woman of
her inheritance in divine mysteries."
" I believe with you, Miss Davieson, that there
have been prophets and prophecies, true and
righteous ; but they had something more than
individual destiny to foretell ; they dealt with the
interests of the chosen people, or with the desti-
nies of man universal. The petty art of fortune-
telling, which aims at no higher wisdom than the
matrimonial prospects of school-girls and boys, is
but a corrupted fragment of old heathen astrolo-
gy, and has degenerated into the most foolish
and insignificant of all vulgar superstitions."
Alas for Leonore ! this speech was quite too
196 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
much both for pride and philosophy. One sud-
den stroke of the brush swept from the canvass
every vestige of what it had recently created,
and hastily catching up the little chalk sketch
which Ellen had given her for a guide, she tore
into bits and scattered it from the window. So
momentary was this work of destruction, that
Randolph could only stand and gaze at her in
astonishment ; and before he could recover him-
self sufficiently to speak, she had hurried from
He stood as she had left him, with his face
still in a blaze of heat, when Ellen came in,
bright and happy, from the garden. She was on
the point of breaking into some innocent enthu-
siasm about the fine weather, and the beautiful
flowers ; but she stopped, saw that all was not
right, retreated a step, and stood hesitating, till
her cousin came forward, closed the door, and
led her to the picture, so defaced ! Ellen did
not exclaim — she was not one of the exclaiming
sort — but she looked a gentle inquiry, which
Randolph at once frankly answered by relating
all that had been said, and all that had occurred
" Do not judge her hastily, Randolph. Her
temper is kind, generous, but too quick and sen-
sitive. She has not yet been taught to control
her feelings ; she will learn it all in time, so you
must not, indeed you must not be displeased
" Displeased ! O no ! /, only, am in the wrong.
I was so harsh ; I spoke so against all her inno-
cent fancies, she has cause to be very angry. I
cannot, I am sure, blame her in the least."
" She will be the better for it, Randolph. You
see the influence a word of yours can exert over
her. That word has been against her only fatal
weakness, and believe me, it will effect the cure
that other means could not readily have accom-
" O, Ellen, it is not safe listening to you ; you
are too hoping, too sure that all will be well.
No, no ; she will not forgive me, and it is best
that I leave her ; I have already remained too
long for my peace."
" Stay a few days, just a few days longer,
Randolph. They may clear away this little
Randolph stayed a few days, to please Ellen,
he thought, though it must be confessed he did
himself secretly hope some reconciliation might
be made with Leonore. He did not, however,
see her again, except at the table, and then she
was reserved and silent. Once their eyes met,
and he thought she did not seem displeased ; but
198 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
he could argue no hope from a solitary look, and
as she carefully avoided a repetition of the acci-
dent, he felt that it was idle for him to expect a
reconciliation. Indeed, during the whole period
of his visit, her smiles had been but April sun-
beams, rapidly succeeded by coldness and clouds.
Had he not loved her long before, he would
scarcely have loved her now ; but his nature was
not variable, and of all his feelings, his affection
for Leonore the least so.
The third morning after their unfortunate con-
versation, Randolph having announced to the
family the importance of his immediate return to
the city, was met by Ellen in the library.
" You are going, then," she said. " Well, it
is for the best, I suppose ; but one thing, Ran-
dolph, do not forget Leonore."
" Forget her ! Would it were possible ! "
" But I feared you might be rash — young men
sometimes are so, you know — and in a fit of
despair or disappointment — "
" Engage myself to another ? No, Ellen,
that is impossible. A love begun in boyhood,
remembered through absence, increased in man-
hood, even when met with coldness and — anger
■ — such a love, Ellen, is not a weed to die away
in an hour — O, no ! nor in many, many hours
— days — years ! "
" I have told you not to forget, Randolph ; I
now give you more necessary advice — do not
despair. ' Hope on, hope ever.' All will be
well in time. I promise to be discreet with
Leonore. I know her heart, and can minister to
it better than others."
The look of gratitude, so tender, so full of
things which could not be uttered, which was the
reward of this kindness, went like a burning sun-
beam far down into Ellen's heart ; and she
hastened away to conceal the emotion she did
not like he should discover.
" Come, my dear," said Ellen, some months
after this, bursting gayly into the room where
Leonore had retired from the breakfast- table,
and where she sat with a volume of Wordsworth
in her hand, "come, Leonore, the day is going
to be fine, and let us spend it all abroad in the
woods and meadows — a real gipsy life. See, I
have filled a basket with books, and, may I say
it ? with sandwiches and tarts for our animal
romance ; for I protest, against all the poets and
sentimentalists that have ever lived, that comfort
is the very foundation of romance, as we will
prove to-day. So come, take Wordsworth with
you — he belongs to the out-door world — and
we will have the merriest ramble you can think."
Leonore smiled faintly. " There is no resist-
200 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
ing your sweet entreaties," she languidly re-
plied. " You do not need any of the good genii
we read of in fairy tales. Such a happy temper
as yours is better than the Talking Bird, the
Singing Tree, and the Yellow Water."
" Come, go with me, and we will find them
all," said Ellen, tying on her friend's hat.
" And you shall wear my pretty shawl," she
added, - flinging a crimson kerchief upon her
shoulders. " There ! you look really a P Egyp-
tian, and I must say the character becomes you
excessively ; " and looking up into her friend's
soul-pervaded face, she murmured, admiringly,
" An eye where feeling plays
In ten thousand tender rays,
A face o'er which a thousand shadows go ! "
" The ramble of the gipsy and the genii,"
exclaimed Leonore, entering into the spirit of
Ellen's pleasantries ; and thus chatting, they
went forth to their walk.
Following the village road for a few rods, it
led them into a grassy, English-looking lane,
bordered along the way with briars. The flower-
ing raspberry scented the air with its sweetness,
and the wild honeysuckle crept along the walls,
hanging its pink buds forth to the sun. " How
quiet it is here, Ellen ; I feel it in my very
heart," said Leonore. " It is a serenity I did not
love once, but it is peace to me now. I want
every thing still about me, that I may feel and
"'The stock-dove brooding o'er her own sweet
voice ; ' a music something too sad for peace, I
" My nature is different from yours, Ellen ;
melancholy and distrustful."
" Yet it may become less so. Let us hasten
along to the foot of that old sycamore. There
is a little brook babbling there, and it is cool. I
have a long talk for you, will you listen ? "
" Why should I not, to my guardian angel ? "
It was a pretty spot where they rested. The
birds were among the branches of the tree, and
a spring bubbled up at its root. " I told you we
should find the Singing Tree," said Ellen.
"And the Talking Bird is already at my
" About to reveal treasures, Leonore — the
hidden pearls in your own soul. Have you
never felt, my dear friend, when looking upon
the creations of the great masters of the pencil,
something of that noble pride which led Corregio,
in the gallery of arts, to exclaim, 'And I, too,
am a painter ? ' You do, you must feel it ! That
glorious art which can copy the forms and colors
202 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
of material beauty, and fix even the soul upon
canvass, which is to the eye what music is to the
ear, — full of harmony, of feeling and thought, —
that glorious art, Leonore, is your own in no
common measure. Few women have stood
where you stand ; have had your genius, your
wealth, and your leisure. What cannot you ac-
complish in the way of cultivation, I had almost
said, of creation ? Let not your youth die away,
without leaving some 4 footprints on the sands of
time.' Make yourself a work in this world,
around which your thoughts and interests may
cling, and which shall remain to those whom you
" An eloquent appeal to my ambition, Ellen ! "
" And not to your ambition alone ; to your
reason, your moral sense, and your affections.
Has not, or should not every human being have
a moral purpose in his existence ? Why do
we live, if not to do, to act ? We may dream
in sleep, we may rest in the grave ; but here,
while we live, let us accomplish. Our wishes
cannot all be gratified, nor can all our affections
be answered. But this cannot justify a life of
indolence and repining. If we are not required
to toil for ourselves, nor for those we love, let
us work for the wretched ; they always need our
labors. It is wrong in any of us to believe that
we have no interest nor object in life. So long
as the poor are with us, or so long as there is
wisdom to be acquired, or invention to be given
to the world, so long have we a noble and en-
during work. O, Leonore ! you are made to
glorify this world ; do not fall from your high
allotment, do not give to melancholy the sweet
and vigorous spring-tide of your being."
Ellen had risen above her usually serene
manner, not into oratory, O, no ! but into that
calm, fervid eloquence, which is so ready to
touch the soul. Leonore burst into tears ; but
the warmth with which she grasped her friend's
hand told the feeling which excited them. " El-
len, I thank you," she exclaimed, as soon as the
sweet girl's caresses had allayed her agitation,
" I have had glimpses of this light all along,
ever since I have been under the influence
of your bright spirit. I have felt, Ellen, a little
of this truth, but it is breaking in upon me with a
new beauty from your lips."
After some longer conversation upon this and
kindred subjects, they resumed their walk.
" Down this way, Leonore," said Ellen, skipping
along the rocks which made a stair-way for the
little brook as it dashed toward a small wooded
dell, enclosed by smooth green hills. When they
had reached this retreat, Leonore paused, and
204 THE ROSE OF SHARON,
looked around her, and impressed by the beauty
and solitude of the scene, sank down upon one of
the rocks, and motioned Ellen to her side.
" Ellen, dear, I am in a confessional mood,
to-day, and this sweet solitude cheats me of my
usual discretion ; so I must go on till I betray
to you all my weaknesses. I was in this quiet
little dell once before, long years ago, when I
was a mere child. How vividly it all returns to
me ! The very rock on which we sit, is the one
I occupied then. I had been hunting straw-
berries on the hill before us with a party of my
schoolmates. Randolph Werner was among
them. My basket was filled long before those of
my companions, for Randolph had been helping
me, and I remember had brought me the largest
and sweetest that could be found. It was a
warm day, and there were no trees upon the hill
for a shelter ; so I strayed away from my com-
panions, and entered the shadow of these trees.
I had been sitting here a few minutes, and had
thrown my bonnet aside to cool my face, which
was glowing with heat, when I heard footsteps,
and looking up, saw Randolph coming toward
me, with a wreath of eglantine in his hand.
" l Why did you not stay to help the other
girls?' I exclaimed, quite embarrassed that he
should have followed me ; for I was then a girl
LEON ORE. 205
of twelve, and had read novels for several years.
' Because,' he replied, ' I had rather be with you ;
besides, I found a pretty wreath, which you must
let me weave among your curls.' He began
playing with my hair, telling me how soft and
bright it was, and before I knew it, he had cut
off one long stray lock, and stood holding it up
before me. I tried to take it from him, but he
kissed it, and hid it in his bosom. ' I shall al-
ways keep it, Leonore,' he said, c and it will be
the only person's hair I shall ever keep, unless it
" O, my friend ! I believe my passions matured
early, for even then I felt a creeping jealousy
chill every fibre of my heart. To feel that I
was loved no better than you, to know that any
relic of another would be as fondly cherished as
one from me, was more than I could bear, and
I burst into tears. Randolph thought I was
offended, and restoring the curl to me, muttered
some little apology, and ran off to the party upon
the hill. When he was out of sight, I tore the
wreath from my hair, flung it into the brook, and
stood watching it till the current had borne it
beyond my sight. From this time forward,
Randolph never gave me any open testimonies
of affection, but many a little secret act of kind-
ness continued to operate upon my heart. Final.
206 THE HOSE OF SHARON.
ly, he went away ; and now, Ellen, that I have
proceeded so far in my confession, you must
answer me one question, candidly, as candidly as
I have told my follies — do you love Randolph ? "
" Why ask me that, Leonore ? You know
I love him as I would an only brother."
" Ah ! but that is not what I mean. Has there
ever existed any engagement — pardon me, any
desire for an eno-agement on either side ? "
The strong look she fixed upon Ellen during
her reply, did not disturb the perfect serenity and
openness of her countenance. " No, Leonore,
never for one moment ! "
A sunny look spread all over Leonore's face at
this reply, and her voice had a trembling joyous-
ness in its tones as she continued, " Well, my
dear Ellen, there was such a report circulated
soon after his departure, and I was ready enough
to believe it. I knew that you corresponded
often. This was natural, for you had been com-
panions from early childhood ; but I tormented
myself with the belief that I was forgotten, and
that you, only, were loved. About this time, old
Kate's prophecy occurred, and it completed all
that was wanting to my faith. You know all
that has since followed. Randolph, doubtless,
told you the particulars of our last interview. I
am angry with myself when I think of my weak-
ness ; but never was I so much benefited as by
that speech of his about fortune-telling. In an
instant, I saw and felt all the absurdity of my
faith, and, governed by impulse, as I always am,
one stroke of the pencil obliterated from the
canvass every trace of that silly scene which had
dwelt in my imagination, and operated upon my
destiny, for nearly four years. Had I continued
in this delusion, I doubt not I should have gone
on creating the very destiny I dreaded, till it had
terminated in madness or death. But I have, of
late, been gradually opening my eyes to the
truth, and I do believe now, Ellen, that Randolph
has sincerely loved me."
" Say rather, my own dear friend, that he does
still love you, in spite of the coldness with which
it has been met from the very first."
It was nearly sunset when the girls returned
home. The day had been delightfully passed in
reading, rambling, and chatting of olden times,
and times to come. A package from the city
had arrived in their absence. It was for Ellen,
and taking it to her chamber, she called Leonore
to assist her in opening it. It contained several
new books, and a letter from Randolph. Ellen
began reading it aloud.
"Dear Ellen, — Your letter should have been
answered earlier, but I have been greatly hurried
208 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
in preparations to leave America by the next
packet. This movement is rather sudden, but
the benefit of a compagnon du voyage, — a
brother artist, — has decided me to go immediate-
ly. I need riot tell you what an advantage it
will be to my profession to visit the works of art
in various countries of Europe. Such a tour is
almost indispensable to a painter. I know not
how long I may be absent, probably not more
than three years.
" A farewell blessing for Miss D. I hope she
has forgiven me. You ought not to say that she
loves me, Ellen. Were it true, I should be the
happiest of men ! Where will she be when I
return ? Will another call her his own ? God.
forbid it ! " —
Ellen observed the emotion of her friend, and
having perused the rest of the letter in silence,
she put it in Leonore's hand, and bade her take
it to her own room, where she could read it at
her leisure. She immediately retired, and Ellen,
overcome by the trials of the day, was scarcely
able, through faintness and agitation of mind, to
throw herself upon her bed, and pray for the
strength of which she felt herself daily more and
more in need.
Two years after these events, there was an
LEON ORE. 209
Artist's Fair held in one of our eastern cities, for
the benefit of the widows of poor artists. The
hall was filled at an early hour, and many came
to see, who did not design to purchase. Not of
this class, however, was the gentleman who
stood at the upper end of the gallery, near a
group of fine Swiss and Italian landscapes. He
did not, however, seem so much engrossed by
these, as by the conversation of two young ladies
who stood before them.
" That is the finest view I have ever seen of
Terni," remarked the tallest of the ladies.
" By which of our artists was it executed ? It
has many of Randolph's characteristics, — rich-
ness of coloring, distinctness of outline, and the
usual '•je ne sais quoij which distinguishes his
style from that of others."
" Just what I was thinking, Ellen ; and he has
visited Terni. Yet it cannot be his. How per-
fect, how impalpable is the soft mist half hiding
* the hell of waters ; ' and that fragment of a
rainbow breaking out from the gloom and turmoil
below — do you remember the inimitable descrip-
tion of the scene as the Childe beheld it ?
4 On the verge,
From side to side, beneath the glittering morn.
An Iris sits, amidst the infernal surge,
Like hope upon a death-bed, and, unworn
Its steady dyes, while all around is torn
210 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
By the distracted waters, bears serene
Its brilliant hues with all their beams unshorn,
Resembling, mid the tortures of the scene,
Love, watching madness with unalterable mien.' "
This was repeated in a low tone, but the
gentleman lost not a word.
" You have been such an Iris as this to me,
Ellen," she added, in a whisper ; yet the gentle-
man heard also the whisper. They passed along
down the gallery, and as closely as possible fol-
lowed the listener. They stopped before a small
picture entitled " The Theft." It represented a
beautiful young girl, seated at the foot of a small
cascade, with her bonnet thrown aside, her dark
hair enwreathed with eglantine, and her eyes
lifted reprovingly upon a handsome boy at her
side, who stood holding up a long tress which he
" Ellen, it is the very scene ! How came it
here ? " suddenly exclaimed Leonore, turning, at
the same time, to see if any one but herself was
observing it. Who should her eyes fall upon but
Randolph Werner himself, close at her side !
We need not attempt to describe the effects of
this unexpected meeting. As soon as possible,
Randolph drew his fair friends aside from the
crowd, and gave them a brief explanation of the
causes which had led to it. A sudden impulse
of home-sickness, he said, and a weariness of
travel, which, though it ministered to his passion
for the beautiful in nature and art, conflicted
with his love of study and retirement, had urged
him to a somewhat premature return. He also
remarked to Leonore, in a low voice, that there
was a still stronger reason in the little postscript
she had added to Ellen's last letter, — the first
line she had ever addressed to him, — a line,
too, which thanked him cordially and delicately
for the benefit she had derived from the scene of
the Spoiled Picture. The sweet smile of love
which replied to him, filled his heart with the
bliss of heaven. Who will marvel that it did,
when he had waited for it years in vain ?
On his arrival in the city, Randolph had seen
a notice of the fair, and desirous of aiding it as
much as was in his power, had sent in the land-
scapes they had been examining. At the hall,
he had observed several small paintings, whose
designs were familiar to him ; he referred to the
catalogue, and found the initials, only, of the
artist — L. D. He felt sure of the name, and in
order to discover whether she were in the city,
had carried to the hall the little piece which had
led to their recognition of him. That same
night, the picture of " The Theft " adorned
212 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
In a small but beautiful cottage, on one of the
lakes that, like a cluster of sapphires, sparkle
among the fragments of that magnificent forest
which once spread over the rich country of the
Senecas, Randolph Werner has found a happy-
home with the happiest of brides, his long-loved
Leonore. United in their pursuits, as well as in
their affections, looking with a bright philosophy
upon the providences of Heaven, and cherishing
in their souls a pure love of the beautiful and the
true, they have little more of this life's wealth to
ask, and few of its privations to fear.
And Ellen ? Happy as ever, serene, thought-
ful, and religious, she ministers to the comfort
and joy of her declining parents ; and, content to
bestow her warmest love upon them, she cher-
ishes in her heart not a solitary regret that she
submitted her early love to the guidance of
friendship and duty. If any one be disposed to
murmur at her destiny, we reply in the beautiful
and truthful words of Scott :
" A character of a highly virtuous and lofty
stamp, is degraded rather than exalted by an
attempt to reward virtue with temporal pros-
perity. Such is not the recompense which
Providence has deemed worthy of suffering merit,
and it is a dangerous and fatal doctrine to teach
young persons, the most common readers of
romance, that rectitude of conduct and of princi-
ple are either naturally allied with, or adequately
rewarded by, the gratification of our passions, or
attainment of our wishes.
" A glance on the great picture of life will
show, that the duties of self-denial, and the
sacrifice of passion to principle, are seldom thus
remunerated ; and that the internal consciousness
of their high-minded discharge of duty, produces
on their own reflections a more adequate recom-
pense, in the form of that peace which the world
cannot give or take away."
THE PRISONER'S DREAM.
BY MISS H. J. WOODMAN.
Through the long night I slept,
And back my spirit travelled to the hour,
When o'er a wounded bird I bowed and wept,
Or grieved to see a crushed, neglected flower!
Again at daylight's close,
Blazing in beauty through the dark green trees,
I watched the star of evening as it rose
In silent grandeur through the azure seas.
Again beside the brook,
With one sweet sister, and my all on earth,
A truant boy, my changeful course I took,
And woke the echoes of the hills with mirth !
Again, at hour of prayer,
That sister by my side, I knelt me down,
And said the words so oft-repeated, where
A spirit pure was more than monarch's crown!
THE PRISONER'S DREAM. 215
Again my mother sought
With sweet persuasive voice, to win my soul
To Him, whose teachings, with salvation fraught,
Can all our fevered fears and hopes control.
Methought a hand was laid
In silent blessings on my sinless head!
Blest father, on thy brow there came no shade,
And O, thy speaking eye such radiance shed !
Depart, thou cloudless dream!
What art thou now to one with guilt borne down?
Thought, burning thought, like lava-scorching stream,
Thou bidst the sunshine and the stars to frown !
No, no! I will not bruise
The last, sad chord that innocence has left:
The only ray of peace I will not lose
From the dark sky, of other lights bereft !
And those sweet voices plead
With such o'erwhelming power, — "if thou wilt pray
To Him whose bounty doth the ravens feed,
His love will cheer thee through the toilsome way! "
" I come, God, to thee !
Prostrate in dust, yet strong in faith and love!
Shepherd of souls, unclose the fold for me,
And plead my sorrows at the throne above ! "
216 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
Like a repentant child,
The strong man knelt as in his youthful years.
And prayed through Him, the tried yet undefined.
Till faith, bright cherub, smiled away his fears!
BY MRS. C. M. SAWYER.
The tempest is on us ! hark, how the rain dashes,
And how, through the forest, the loud thunder crashes!
The steeds of the whirlwind are out in their might,
And the storm-spirits hold a gay revel to-night !
They wail through the sky, and they howl through the
They tear up strong trees with one grasp of the hand !
And frail woman shrieks, and the bold man grows pale.
As they pass on the wings of the withering gale !
Through the old, heaving ocean, a pathway they plough,
And lash the green waves till they're whiter than snow;
They heave the wild flood 'gainst the heavens in scorn,
Till its deep caves, uncovered, like sepulchres yawn!
Now swift o'er the deck of yon good ship they steer,
And shriek in the fear-stricken mariner's ear;
They rend the broad sail, and they crash down the mast.
And a wreck on the rocks the proud vessel they cast!
218 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
Now wo for that bold crew ! far down 'neath the waves.
No mortal may weep o'er their fathomless graves;
But mid the wind's pauses, a soft spirit-strain
Sighs mournfully over the billowy main !
" Rest ye, rest ye, sons of ocean !
In the melancholy deep,
Heedless of its endless motion,
O, how peaceful is your sleep !
" Rest ye ! o'er your dreamless slumbers,
On the ocean's oozy floor,
Mermaids chant in pensive numbers,
Strewing you with sea-weeds o'er!
" Watchfully they guard your pillows,
From the fierce sea-monster's gaze,
While each prowler of the billows
From their gem-lit halls they chase !
"Rest ye! not one pang of sorrow
E'er again your hearts shall swell ;
Rest, till an eternal morrow
Calls you from the deep ! Farewell ! "
It ceases; and silence sinks down on the main,
As dies o'er the wave that sad, murmuring strain!
'T is the storm-spirit's dirge o'er the sons of the sea,
Ere away to their far northern caverns they flee!
BY HENRY BACON.
" I have fed
Perhaps too much upon the lotos-fruits
Imagination yields, — fruits which unfit
The palate for the more substantial food
Of our own land — Reality." l. e. l.
Thus sung a poet, as she gave the history of
the lyre, and breathed out, it may be, the secrets
of her own being. She dwelt too much with the
clouds, and too seldom stood firm on the solid
earth. As she floated along in her brilliant, but
vapory car, she was attracted to notice and to
sing of but one kind of love. Like an angel, she
sang of love as woman's province, but, unlike an
angel, she did not recognize all woman's rela-
tions in life. The glory of love in its power to
beautify the affections of the mother, the wife,
the sister, and the friend, was never discerned by
her ; and the Actual of love, as an all-pervading
and all-glorifying inspiration, w r as veiled and
hidden. How widely different was she, as a poet,
220 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
from Mrs. Hemans ! The one sang of love, the
other of the affections ; and while we listen to the
passionate breathings of the first, we see visions
of languishing maidens, crazed knights, torn
scarfs, and broken lances ; but as we give ear to
the other, the glory of woman indeed passes be-
fore us ! We see her as she performs a brave
part wherever there are duties to be rendered,
and wherever the good, the true, and the useful,
are to be struggled for. Flowers are not the
only language used by these glorious forms ; they
speak in deeds of lofty meaning, and even when
in the fierce contest of the heavenly with the
earthly, the heart has broken, within has shone a
holy light burning clear and pure, like the smile
of Jesus when the sepulchre opened. Her poetry
exalts and strengthens, while L. E. L.'s pleases
young romance, and weakens the powers of en-
Her song should be like the sweet sound of
the flute that woke the Spartau band from dream-
ing to duty, for we perpetually exalt the imagina-
tion and glorify the ideal. That which is, we
declare to be infinitely less than that which is not ;
and thus we are fast persuading ourselves that
fiction is to be preferred to fact, that to prophesy
is better than to study, and that we should choose
rather to dream than to live. We contemplate
THE ACTUAL, 221
pictures, but think not of the artists ; and while
we exult in the coming forth of more perfect
specimens of the beautiful, the artists die for
want of food. In other words, we think too much
of what may be, to the neglect of what really
is, and which must produce whatever is to be.
The Actual should govern the Ideal. The
Positive should dictate the Probable. If thus it is
not with us, we shall mistake dreams for prophe-
cies, and creations that please us will often
prove less than the gem islands the navigator
thought he had discovered, which were but
clouds and mists, suspended by the winds, and
painted by the sunbeams. The Ideal should be
the foreshadowing of the Actual, " as light is the
shadow of Deity ; " for shades should not please
us where substances are not, as they then can be
but the effect of a diseased vision.
The imagination, I gratefully own, is a noble
faculty. It is a grand spiritual artist, and has
ever aided the outreachings of the emulous soul
after the Perfect. It has a mission in reference
to all the powers within, and all the relations of
life. It is eminently serviceable to the social
feelings ; it awakens the sympathies, and endears
all the humanities of a charitable career. It
is not merely for the rapt poet and secluded
scholar ; nor for the Quietist who would hear
222 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
none of the million voices that cry " go forth
and act ! " but it is for the laboring, the strug-
gling, the inventive, and every member of the
artistical and industrial professions and occupa-
tions ; not that they may fly away from the
reality of things, nor to awaken in them an un-
healthy sentimentality that darkens beauty by
the shadow of its frowns, as it contemns what it
deems to be the Present ; but that labor may be
made attractive, as the sight of the beauty to be
wrought out nerves the sculptor's arm for long-
continued strokes on the marble. It aids us in
visiting the past, in endeavoring to penetrate to
the how that which is has been produced, what
tributes have imparted fulness to the streams that
run clear or turbid, what is now pouring into
them, and what their course will probably be.
It is a telescope to bring the far off and mighty
nigh ; it is a microscope to reveal the minutia of
the near ; and thus impels us to confess the
Actual is not the insignificance it is too often
dogmatically asserted to be. That which is, is
There is nothing insignificant in all the uni-
verse, to him who has faith in the workmanship
of God. Every atom is a part of the Actual
whole, and essential to its harmony or beauty.
That which seems most eccentric and most free,
THE ACTUAL. 223
obeys imperative laws ; and we talk of " the
wandering comet," only because we know not
the Actual of its motions. The truth that the
little is great, passes from us, because we do not
see the mustard-tree in the seed. It is too small
to attract our proud vision, and, unnoticed, it falls
into the earth. We confess not the Spirit moving
on the face of the waters. We do not pause
long enough to witness the evolving of tendencies
to the infinite from the product of the past hour.
We dwell too little amid the realities of exist-
ence, and will not be taught the tremendous im-
port of now ! Our life is too much a dream, a
reproduction. We realize comparatively nothing
of what we truly are ; of the immortal capacities
of our essential being ; of the improvability of
every faculty ; of the expansiveness of our
affections, the ever-widening nature of our sym-
pathies, the riches of sensibility. We lament
the past, and put our hearts in the future, and
are not ! We confess we have been, we hope
we shall be ; but that we are, that we have now
a being of infinite relations, and duties to be per-
formed this moment, which can never be per-
formed when the next step of time is taken, are
matters that seem to be but little heeded. Why
should we spend so much time in discussing
" the realities of eternity," — sublime and sacred
226 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
Wherefore do men seek to penetrate to the
laws of the universe, but to know what is, and
imitate God in producing desired results ? Why
has not the mind always progressed in science as
now, although the great book has been as it is,
and ever open ? Simply because men did not
patiently " ask questions of nature," and listen
reverently to her answers. But as they woke
from dreaming, and looked with clear eyes on
the Actual, they rose from simplicity to sublimity,
and the Ideal became more and more beautiful
and commanding, as the shadow of the oak is
more majestic as the tree towers to the heavens
and spreads out its branches.
It is the study of the Actual that has driven
superstition from her thrones, and triumphantly
answered her mytholgical books of magic power.
She had, indeed, her gorgeous robes of splendor,
enchanting tales and songs ; and while hearts
quailed before the profound mysteries, music
vibrated in the breast, and the soul was at once
in terror and ecstasy. Yet the glory of mind
was hidden, and the time of the bringing forth of
the Actual was the birth-day of loftiest thought.
The seer of old was a venerable man, and his
gaze was reverent as he looked upon the stars
and read lessons of hope and fear from the
mystic characters of the illumined page. His
THE ACTUAL. 227
mouth was an oracle, and men marvelled as they
heard its utterances. The might of the Ideal
must be confessed, as we behold the army of
thousands explicitly obeying the word spoken by
the seer, and halting, even in the triumphal
march, at the uplifting of his wand. But when
man stood and told the story of the Future, by
the study of what was, calculated the eclipse
centuries before its approach, and told of worlds,
instead of a mystic writing, a nobler feeling was
awakened ; the dignity and dominion of mind
were asserted, and as the glittering links of su-
perstition's chain fell to the earth, none desired
to pick them up and reunite them, but those
wedded to the Ideal.
Fact is more wonderful than fiction. Did
fiction ever present such wonders in reference to
the heavens as the revelations of science and
philosophy have presented ? No ; what God has
produced is far more grand than what man can
invent ; and even when the impatient speculator
has been ambitious to produce wonders, and has
employed imagination, unauthorized by facts, the
after progress of patient and persevering minds
has revealed greater marvels in the Actual ;
marvels before which we stand appalled, which
make us feel our littleness, and yet exalt us, by
drawing upon and increasing the mightiest ener-
228 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
gies of thought, lifting up our whole being as
we realize the possession of those capacities by
which we circle worlds, and comprehend the
motions of systems, and the relations of suns,
and by which we confess and adore the living
Force giving vitality, order, and beauty, to all !
" How much is escaping us ! " exclaimed Sir
John Herschel, as he treated of millions of stars
in the Milky Way, and the possibility of knowing
" what is going on in that abyss of stars, where,
at present, imagination wanders without a guide."
What glories of the Actual stood revealed before
him, when he thus exclaimed ! What a proces-
sion, to him, was the panorama of worlds !
What a tremendous import has his words, as
applied to those who revel in fictions, — "How
much is escaping them ! " Till they know some-
thing of the Actual, they can have no conception
of the immensity into which the imagination may
soar, and prophesy of " worlds beyond worlds,
and firmaments upon firmaments," opening a
vast museum of wonders to instruct, delight, and
The same spirit of inquiry finds many depart-
ments to consult, as it deals with the Actual in
matter and mind, guided by the sciences, and
assisted by philosophy. Every where it per-
ceives the capabilities of facts to set aside fictions,
THE ACTUAL. 229
and transcend them even in the matter of grati-
fying wonder, or indulging the passion for the
grand and the sublime.
What a theme is the Actual in the history of
social progress ! Those who have led on in the
march of mind, who have given the loftiest ideals
to their fellows, have always been those who
studied best the Actual, asking, ever, — what is
man ? What is he capable of being ? They
read best the lessons of the ages, and saw what
past time had done, and what it had produced
wherewith to operate farther. This knowledge
gave them a faith which was not a mere feeling,
not a feeble and intermitting pulse, but a part
of their very consciousness, and their words
were living forces, by which a virtue went out
of them to enter others, to give the palsied
strength to work heroically. How different are
those who have fashioned to themselves an ideal,
and are discouraged as they meditate on what
they deem to be the Actual ! They are like the
prophet's servant, who needed to have his " eyes
opened," that he might cease to tremble at the
sight of the Syrian band at the mountain's base,
by having a view of how much more there was
for him than against him.
Men have sported with the sober prophecies
of far reaching minds, and talked of quixotic
230 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
schemes and Utopian ideas, when the living
evidence of the truth was before and within
them. They have kept along the common path,
with their chin resting on the breast, wrapped
up in the selfishness of some petty project, and
have no eyes wherewith to gaze on the move-
ment around them, on the passing by of the
glory of the Lord ! From such day-dreaming
the voice of Christianity should awaken them.
It does, at times, awaken them, and the essential
wants and nobleness of the soul are confessed.
It is this confession, reiterated, and felt more and
more, that convinces the mind that Christianity
was designed to give a noble significance to life,
nobler than could be invented, — to make the
Real, as shown in every-day experience, teach
the True, — to form of the soul's own history a
thrilling poem, an ever interesting narrative,
comedies and tragedies surpassing the drama-
tists. To bring out to sight what really is, and
show its significance, its meaning, is the great
work of the Christian moralist and elevator.
Hence, whh a deep meaning, is he called a
" child of light." Light reveals. It is the silver
ground of God's embroidery on the wide-spread
canvass of space. Every line of the poet's
descant is true of the Actual of mind : — ■
THE ACTUAL. 231
" God said, « Let there be light ! '
Grim darkness felt his might,
And fled away ;
Then, startled seas, and mountains cold,
Shone forth, all bright in blue and gold,
And cried, 'T is day ! 'tis day !
' Hail, holy light ! ' exclaimed
The thunderous cloud that flamed
O'er daisies white ;
And lo, the rose in crimson dressed,
Leaned sweetly on the lily's breast,
And, blushing, murmured, ' Light ! '
Then was the Sky-lark born;
Then rose th' embattled corn ;
Then floods of praise
Flowed o'er the sunny hills of noon :
And then, in stillest night, the moon
Poured forth her pensive lays.
Lo, heaven's bright brow was glad ;
Lo, trees and flowers, all clad
In glory, bloom ! "
" The Sun of Righteousness has risen ! " Let
us fill our urns with his holy light, and walk the
earth with a hrave step. To whatever part of
God's universe we turn, on it that light will
shine. It will reveal what he has written in the
characters of love. It will show us beauty every
where. It will make a rainbow of even human
tears, and throw a smile on the stern features of
death. It will go with us into the sepulchre-
garden, cast its rays into the rocky tomb, and
show " the place where the Lord Z«?/." It will
be our friend on Olivet, to disperse every dark
cloud in the heavens as Jesus rises ; and as we
232 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
see the ineffably sweet smile of the Ascending,
we shall cry, —
" Chains of my heart, break, break, I say !
I will arise, and in the strength of love,
Pursue the bright track ere it fade away,
My Saviour's pathway to his home above."
But his paths on earth are to be trodden by
us. Bear up with a brave heart, and that thy
heart may be brave, be good. Goodness is
heroism, goodness is strength, goodness is Christ
in the soul, the Christ of consciousness. To
such a soul, life has an infinite meaning, and
every grain of the sand of time is more precious
than rubies. God is every where, and every
where, therefore, there is infinite beauty to be
discovered. The Actual is infinite ; and Look !
Feel ! Think ! Adore ! will ever sound as ani-
mating voices from heaven. Let us heed them
with our whole heart, and then shall our being
become pure, and the soul will speak out its
solemn, and yet gracious oracles, as it pauses
amid the reality of things, as Jesus stood among
men, and amid the show of his age, speaking
with authority, the authority of truth, equity, and
love, felt and acted in all the relations of life.
The sun of truth is rising with far reaching
glory. Let us go out upon the mountains of
prospect. Let us look abroad over the hills and
THE ACTUAL. 233
into the valleys, and listen to the cheerful sounds
that come up from far and wide. Let us turn
and behold the dense shadows and the noxious
mists, and glorify God for the mission of the
rising sun. There is that can make all bright.
Let us descend, bringing with us the mountain
air in preserving the expansion of our being
there given, and go forth to do good to man.
By doing good, we shall carry with us the never-
failing spell to open the human heart, and un-
fold its infinite treasures, the Actual of human
affections. How little is the heart known ! Yet
light is breaking in upon its mysterious depths,
and man is being redeemed. Contempt is the
product of fiction ! Love is the effect of truth.
To know as God knows, is to love as he loves.
Christianity is the great Initiator. It shows why
a soul is more precious than a retinue of worlds.
It tells of the Actual of our redemption, and dis-
solves the vapory falsehoods that have hidden
man's highest glory. It convinces that Sem-
blance has reigned long enough in the place of
Reality, and that man has stood too much on the
Egyptian side of God's " cloud by day, and
pillar of fire by night." It awakes us to live ; it
gives an eternal reality to life, as it makes us
feel the Actual of our being, as revealed in the
Perfect Man, and impels us to weep that we have
234 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
not nurtured more the germinating seed of the
" Life is what we make it," says a Christian
philosopher. We may idolize the fashions that
pass away and have a perishing being. Life
may be all mystery, and our lament, at times,
will be Hume's — "I am environed with the
deepest darkness ! " We may deem that we have
drunk all the " good wine " at the opening of the
feast of the marriage of soul and body, and ex-
pect only " that which is worse ; " but we know
not who is with us ; we know not the Actual of
the divine Power around us, nor how willing it is
to " manifest its glory." Let us learn, feel, and
reverence this, and as we advance on, pausing
in the perpetual feast of the marriage of the
soul to goodness, our acknowledgment shall ever
be, " Thou hast kept the good wine until now."
" The Saviour cannot pass away,
And with him lives our joy."
SCENE IN A GRAVE-YARD.
BY MISS S. C. EDGAItTON.
'T was an old grave yard, dim with massy shade;
The long grass waved above the fallen stones;
And where the sexton, with his careless spade,
Had thrown from their long rest the mouldering bones,
The wind, with something of a mourner's grief,
Had gathered o'er them many a veiling leaf.
Beside a headstone, green with shining moss,
And overhung with grass and violets rank,
A woman knelt, and wreathed the old, gray cross
With myrtle gathered from a streamlet's bank ;
For a blue stream ran there amid the graves,
And nursed the wild flowers from its murmuring waves.
Rich were the robes that trailed above the grass
On which she knelt, and a long, mantling veil
Of costliest broidery, hid the gleaming mass
Of dark-brown hair, that o'er her forehead pale
Its shadows cast, and fell in heavy curls
Upon a throat half hid with strings of pearls.
236 THE EOSE OF SHARON.
Her soft, white fingers wreathed the glossy vines
With tender care around the graven name ;
And something like a blush, amid the lines
Of her pale cheeks, revealed awakened shame.
She leaned her brow upon the soft, green moss,
And tears of anguish wet the gray old cross.
A child, a peasant child, beside the gate
Of this old church-yard loitered ; and her eyes s
With an expression, earnest, yet sedate,
Were fixed upon the lady, in surprise.
Twice the poor child, with pity in her heart,
Turned toward the gateway, yet could not depart.
Then she advanced, then doubted, and then stopped;
Looked at her tattered dress and naked feet;
Looked at the bright, blue sky — then meekly dropped
Upon her knees, and with a murmur sweet,
Prayed God to bless the lady who had come
To weep beside that old and humble tomb.
O childhood! heaven abides within thy breast;
Love in untarnished streams flows freely there;
Thy heart for every wanderer would find rest,
For every mourner lifts a fervent prayer;
And none so guilty, none so worn with grief,
That thou wilt not essay to yield relief.
SCENE IN A GRAVE-YARD. 237
The peasant girl was not unmarked; her prayer,
Her touching attitude, her soft, bright eyes,
Thrilled to the lady's heart, and wakened there
Rich human love, in prodigal supplies;
She rose and hastened to the kneeling child,
Clasped her brown hand, bent over her, and smiled.
" Thy prayer is not in vain, sweet wilding rose!
I have a heart, though hardened o'er with pride,
Which the soft voice of childhood can unclose,
And fill with tenderness to heaven allied.
I shall be better for thy simple prayer,
For it hath broke the seal of proud despair.
" Girl, thou art yet too young to feel the wo
That womanhood can bring ; yet in thine eye
I see a trace of thought which can foreknow
The sorrows thy free heart may now defy.
I see that trace; O, much may it avail,
When thou hast listened to my mournful tale."
Leading her gently to the same old tomb
Where she had knelt in penitence and tears,
She made beside her, on its borders, room,
And soothed with gentleness the poor child's fears.
"Nay, dear one, fear me not," the lady said ;
" I cast my pride aside when with the dead."
238 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
Strange picture was it, that poor peasant girl,
With tattered garments, and wild streaming hair,
Seated by one whom broidered lace, and pearl,
And robes of velvet, made intensely fair !
Strange picture was it, yet they felt it not,
For outward show in love was all forgot.
The lady paused awhile, and memory sped
Away to olden days and early dreams;
And through the wild and tangled paths that led
Her steps away from youth's bright, sunny streams.
While thus she mused, her cheek grew sad and pale;
Then waking from her dream, she thus began her tale:
" Thou art, sweet girl, what I was, when a child;
A fair, bright, laughing thing, yet prone to tears;
A rambler in lone places, dim and wild;
With nature, bold — with man, a child of fears.
A cottage was my home, as it is thine,
And poorer than thy garb, dear girl, was mine.
" I had no father. On a lone sea-isle,
Where bright birds sing, and skies are fair and warm,
Far from his home, and from his infant's smile,
His comrades laid at rest his lifeless form.
And my poor mother, on this world's wide sea,
Had but one beacon left — her love for me.
SCENE IN A GRAVE-YARD. 239
" O, what a love! and with what tireless care
She wasted strength and ease to spare me- want!
While I, as thoughtless as the summer air,
Spent all my hours in some wild shadowy haunt;
There weaving those bright dreams of future joy,
Which I have seen successive years destroy.
" My spirit had a gift, a secret gift,
Which answered only to the far, bright stars,
When through the greenwood's high and changeful rift,
Streamed down the light of Venus and of Mars;
Which answered only to the winds and streams,
The sweet wood-blossoms, and the moon's pale beams.
" Dear child, perhaps thou canst not understand
The mystery of this gift. And yet, maybe,
Thou 'st heard of those who consecrate the land
With thrilling song, and plaintive minstrelsy.
'T was poetry, dear girl, that swept my soul,
And won me to its strong, yet sweet control.
" I saw strange beauty in the silent things
That others idly passed; the small, wild bird
That fluttered o'er the rose his bright, blue wings,
The singing brook, by careless ears unheard,
The wild flower swinging in the lonely dell, —
All bound me with a strong and wondrous spell.
240 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
" Rapt by the beauty of ray own sealed thoughts,
I grew estranged from human life and love;
And gathered round me, in my w 7 ild resorts,
Bright spirits from the past, and from above;
Angels were with me — heroes, too, of old,
And dreams of love that words have never told.
"I saw the future — 'twas a dazzling scroll;
There gleamed in lines of light my own bright fate;
There had the glorious triumphs of my soul
Secured my name a place among the great;
And I, a peasant girl, untaught, unknown,
Already dreamed of poet's crown and throne.
" I grew delirious with my own wild hopes,
And scorned the dull and silent life I led ;
Like the sleep-walker, who in darkness gropes,
So 'wildering visions filled ray dizzy head;
And nursing by the streams the secret fire,
I learned from them to tune my untaught lyre.
" The few old books that graced our little shelf,
Gave themes to ray rude song; I also sought
For dawning sentiment within myself,
And clothed with words of music my crude thought;
My fledgeling rhymes rang gayly through the wood,
Like the first warblings of a nestling brood.
SCENE IN A GRAVE-YARD. 241
" At length these dreams o'ermastered all my life;
Duty, affection, home, became as naught;
My mind with projects of proud fame was rife,
And human glory guided every thought ;
My purpose now was fixed — the world should know
What hidden fires within my soul could glow.
u Dear child, the tale is long. 'T were vain to tell
The cruel anguish of my mother's heart,
When to my cottage-home I bade farewell,
And from her sight she saw my form depart.
She blessed me when the last farewell was spoken —
She blessed me, though her heart was crushed and broken.
" I never saw her more. In giddy throngs,
Where youth, and beauty, and a dazzling wit
Soon gained me rich applause, that mother's wrongs
Became like dreams; and yet remorse would flit
At moments through my heart, and waken there
A feeling not unlike its late despair.
" But death released her; and a peasant friend
Sent me the mournful tidings. She had died.
Blessing her erring daughter, and her end.
Was one of triumph, though her soul was tried
By my ingratitude. This parting gift —
This lock of silvery hair, was all she left.
242 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
" A year of bitter penitence and grief,
A season of wild tumult in my soul,
And I again, to seek a vain relief,
Mixed with the crowd, and let its praises roll
Like Lethe tides o'er memory's burning waste.
Alas ! those waves had lost their early taste !
" Sweet child, forgive me ; it is surely strange -
That I should talk to thy young heart of love,
And yet, I would describe the wondrous change
That passed o'er earth and all the sky above ;
A change that glorified the stars and flowers,
And clothed with dreamy beauty all the hours.
" I stood at evening in a dim alcove,
O'erlooking moon-lit waters; and my heart,
With the impassioned tenderness of love,
Was more than filled. I had removed apart
From the gay crowd that revelled in the dance,
To give free license to this sweet romance.
:e One came and stood beside me ; one whose words
Were more than music — more, indeed, than thought ;
May be, sweet child, thou 'st heard those woodland birds
Whose notes with richest melody are fraught;
They are not half so rich, nor half so sweet,
As were his tones, with fervent love replete.
SCENE IN A GRAVE-YARD. 243
" The moon shone clear upon his high white brow,
And softened the deep glory of his eye;
And tears were there, when love's first earnest vow
Called for its witness from the far, bright sky;
Alas! that pure and lofty heart, all mine,
I blindly sacrificed at mammon's shrine.
" I loved him ! yes, I could have freely poured
My heart's blood forth in secret, to have spared
The slightest anguish to a mind that soared
So loftily as his; and yet I dared,
With all my knowledge of this passion's sway,
To cast his love, for worthless gold, away !
" I wedded one whom rank and wealth have placed
High in this cold world's favor; but his love
Ne'er on my heart one burning line hath traced,
Ne'er can his look or voice my spirit move;
Yet he is kind, and looks with tender pride
Upon his haughty, though unhappy bride.
" No joy for me in summer sun or air,
No pleasure in the crowd that throngs my steps;
I spend my days in tears and silent prayer,
My nights with this dear token at my lips —
This parting token which that mother gave,
Who sleeps in peace within this humble grave.
244 THE ROSE OF- SHARON.
" My tale is ended now, dear, gentle girl;
My guilty tale ; O, from its sadness, learn
That peace is never found in pleasure's whirl,
Nor where ambition's luring meteors burn.
These bring no lasting joy; in humble worth
Lies all the enduring glory of this earth."
The lady ceased ; and turning toward the child,
Saw that her sweet young face was bathed in tears;
But weeping thus, the girl serenely smiled,
Bright as the bow that on the cloud appears;
Then murmured, " Thou indeed hast felt the rod,
Yet he who chastens, is he not thy God?
" Pray to him, gentle lady; pray in faith,
And he will give thee peace, and love, and joy;
Pray, lady, for our Saviour, even in death,
Found strength in prayer that pain could not destroy;
And f, dear lady, /, so young, so gay,
Have felt it sweet to kneel me down and pray."
" Pray on, sweet child, and God will give thee strength
To keep thy pure young heart from earthly stains;
And I, yes, I shall find that peace at length,
Which now alone to me in prayer remains.
Thy words shall long within my spirit dwell,
And soothe my thoughts like some redeeming spell.
SCENE IN A GRAVE-YARD. 245
" But thon art sad ; go, seek the bird and bee,
The glad bright waters, and all joyous things,
And leave these dark old tombs to death and me,
For sunshine ne'er to us its gladness brings;
Go, and God bless thee ! We shall meet again
Where there is no more sorrow, sin, nor pain."
BRIEF LESSONS OF A JOURNEY.
BY J. G. ADAMS.
"If you believe it, you will be a much wiser man, when you
greet the morrow morn after a day's travel." W. G. Clark.
All portions, all walks and ways of life, have
their lessons to the attentive mind. And who
that can learn at home, will not be instructed and
improved in a pleasant journey, a journey from
the clustering cares and numerous attractions of
a crowded and busy life, away into the open
space of the glowing country beneath the skies
of June ? Shades of Johnson and Sterne ! ye
who pencilled the roamings and instructions of
Obidah, son of Abensina, and ye who wrote that
stranger " Sentimental Journey," let me not lie
down and sleep too long by the way. Geniuses
of truth and beauty ! let me not dishonor ye in
my waking delineations.
The morning has come, — a hot, clear-skied
summer morning, — and we are called away
BRIEF LESSONS OF A JOURNEY. 247
from the precincts of home. The rail-road car
has taken us ; the bell, the harsh steam-breath is
heard, and we are on our course, the dashing
locomotive seeming a thing of tremendous life,
rejoicing as a thousand strong men in one, to
run a race. Spirit of steam ! What art thou ?
" A spirit of life," truly ; yet thy " questionable
shape " bespeaks destruction and death ! Whence
art thou ?
s ' What cavern deep, what hill sublime,"
gave thee birth ? And whither goest thou ?
Most thrilling thought of all ! Thou hast al-
ready ploughed the rude ocean in defiance of its
storms, and rent the everlasting mountains to
make clear thy passage through them ! When
will mortals be content to say of thee, " Thus
far shalt thou go, and no farther ? " Thus my
apostrophe ; it is broken by the voices of the
passenger multitude. Each one is engaged.
Familiar and formal conversation — silent or
audible reading — deep, strange, and unutterable
thought — a pleasant laugh — a child's shriek,
or a parent's " hush ! " are the accompaniments
of the car as it courses on and on to its destina-
tion. Thus moves the great earth we inhabit,
with its multitude, whose thoughts, intentions, and
indiscriminate utterances make no difference in
248 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
its endless journey through the fields, and over
the ethereal streams, and across the bright path-
ways of spirit throngs, invisible to mortal eyes !
Happy is he upon it, whose thoughts are the up-
risings of a holy spirit, whose words are breathed
from the pure divinity within, and whose living
faith can say to aspiring humanity,
" On the way
To heaven's high capitol our car shall roll ;
The templ3 of the Power whom all ohey,
That is the mark we tend to, for the soul
Can take no lower flight, and seek no meaner goal."
We have stopped ; the throng moves out; we
are scattered, never more to be gathered together
on the " great globe itself." May we have a
longer and happier greeting in that world where
we shall all know and understand one another,
gladdened by the smiles of mutual interest and
STAGE-RIDING. — THE INN.
What a transition ! from the rapid car to the
plodding stage-coach, and that, too, on a day of
promised heat, dust, pressure, thirst, and weari-
ness. Here is a lesson in this travelling hive.
You have your democracy in a stage-coach.
"Whip" is president, by general consent, if not
by particular election. The executive some-
BRIEF LESSONS OF A JOURNEY. 249
times assumes unwonted authority, yet his privi-
lege is unquestioned. The " dear people " are
often intensely near together, especially in full
stage, on a June day ; and one hath no preemi-
nence, only as this is gained by dint of personal
attraction. Learned judges, and unlearned cattle
drovers, city merchants, and back-woods log-
rollers, keen-eyed, blooming, and bewitching
belles, and prudish, imbewitching elderly maid-
ens, " angels and ministers of grace," and Satan's
most honored servants, all meet here, at home,
— all wise, important, and filling no small space
of actual existence, notwithstanding the narrow
sphere at present occupied, — or else — all won-
drously mistaken. Hark ! The " rising genera-
tion " is here. Children have their places, yea,
their voices, too, in this moving democracy.
What though they please not, edify not the
mass ? Endurance must be exercised, and petty
outward ills be made to inspire a deeper inward
Thus we move on, climbing hills, rolling up
the dust of the vallies, crossing bridges, and
sweeping the winding streams, — dashing up to
the village post-office or inn, where small troops
of gazers take hasty glimpses of our actual
presence, as they come to seek " the news," —
and wheeling away, with horses and riders re-
250 THE EOSE OF SHARON.
lieved by the momentary respite. O, what a
striking representation of the whole great multi-
tude of us now out to fret our hours, or endure
our passages in the great scene of human exist-
ence. Well hath the poet said,
" Life is a torrid day."
I would add — in a crowded stage-coach.
A relief! The traveller's home is ours. Bles-
sings, yea, the freest, fullest blessings of a dust-
smitten, sunburned traveller, on the " well-or-
dered" public house opened for his reception
and peace. How it will please and comfort the
spirit. Thus it is in the journey of life. When
weary and sick at heart, if friendly eyes and
voices greet us, and hands of kindness grasp
ours, and comforts are proffered in our depres-
sion, how the real value of life rises in our esti-
mation ! Reader, do not forget this idea, espe-
cially if thou art a traveller.
Morning again, and we are now far away
from the crowd and din of the city by the sea,
and from the level region round about, and have
come where the rising hills greet us, and the
melodies of nature make music. The sun rolls
proudly up, with joy in his glancing beams —
BRIEF LESSONS OF A JOURNEY. 251
the silvery stream dashes on in light and free-
dom — the husbandman goes forth to his cheerful
toil — flocks and herds stray into green pastures
and beside still waters — the songsters of the
woodland echo their wild notes to the fragrant
winds. All is life.
Again we move on, and new attractions ap-
pear. Beauties are living and breathing every
where. Who would not fly the imprisoned air,
dark apartments, heated walls and pavements of
a city in summer, for the healthful freshness of
morn in the country ?
" Why this is nature's holiday !
She puts her gayest mantle on ;
And sparkling o'er the pebbly way,
With gladder shouts the brooklets run j
The birds and breezes seem to give
A sweeter cadence to their song ;
A brighter life the insects live,
That float in air along."
And here I am in the midst of these delights,
the sojourner of a few transient days, for the
invigorating of body and spirit. And what shall
hinder it ? The genuine hospitality of the coun-
try is to bless me ; not measured, squared, or
stinted by rules enacted and observed amid the
eternal repetition of city life, but whole-hearted,
devoted hospitality, which seems to say, if thou
252 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
wert ever with us, all that we had should be
And how are the friends of my heart, in their
rural homes ? Impressive lessons are now to be
given. Some are living with little of life's
change upon them, the same creatures of sym-
pathy, enjoyment, and love, receiving only now
and then a faint mark of time's pencil on their
brow. Others have been visited by trial, change,
sickness, or bereavement ; they are more care-
worn, and realize more the uncertainty of earth's
enjoyments. The aged still cling to life, with
their vivid or dim, yet fond remembrances of
the past. And the young, impatient at the dull
delay of the days, months, and years, are looking
and reaching forward to new feasts of pleasure,
new revelations of happiness yet to appear in the
sunny future. It is thus with the living ; and
together we recount past trials and enjoyments,
gifts and losses, lights and shadows. We have
all been taught something that should make us
wiser and better children of our Father. Wo
unto us if we do not improve the lesson learned !
But some have departed. Places once filled,
are vacant. Death has been here ; and his
hand blasted the dearest earthly hopes and an-
ticipations. I must visit the burial-ground.
BRIEF LESSONS OF A JOURNEY. 253
Here, as I stroll over the green turf, and
among the monumental inscriptions to the memo-
ry of departed affection and worth, the past
rushes back upon me, and stands out in solemn
contrast with the present. Here is the grave of
a mother, who, in the full glow of womanhood
and maternal honor, went down to the dust.
The father, too, sleeps here. His departure was
not unexpected. He long waited to welcome
death, and that, too, in the presence of a large
and confiding family. Not even the sparkling
tears of his youngest pet child caused him to
falter as he walked into the valley of shadows.
He leaned on an Almighty arm. The aged are
here. They went down in patience and silence.
Here is the grave of one of " the rude forefathers
of the hamlet," who came to make his beginning
in the " waste howling wilderness," where as
yet no man had trod. His aged eyes beheld it a
fruitful field. He was more than fourscore at
his death. Four neighbors, grandfathers, of
equal age, were his pall-bearers to the grave.
Let me speak of another. I am now standing
over the quiet resting-place of one who, when I
last ranged these glad walks of nature, went and
came with me. She was a creature of vivacity,
innocence, beauty, and love. O, what beaming
254 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
life was in her eye, what thrilling sweetness in
her voice, what joy in her presence ! She was
a wife and a mother. Many hearts were bound
up in her being, yet she was taken from them.
Her stirring voice lost its music, her eye its
brightness, her beautiful form its full and fair
proportions. Blasting consumption bore her
away. There were whispers of peace on her
dying lips, — messengers of heavenly hope send-
ing out from the departing soul their signs that
all was well. She can never depart from my
The morning sun shines freely out,
The robin's note is clear,
The air is soft, and all is bright, —
I wish that thou wert here,
To ramble as in hours gone by,
On river-shore, or hill,
In valleys where the wild flowers grow,
By rock or purling rill.
But thou art not ; where is thy form ?
Within this new-made grave ?
Could not the magic of thine eye
From death's encounter save ?
To our repeated sighs for thee,
Is heard no answering sound.
Dead ? Nay, thy spirit in its joy,
Another home hath found.
They tell me thou didst waste away
In stern consumption's hand,
And that thy meek young spirit oft
Sought the far seraph-land ;
BRIEF LESSONS OF A JOURNEY. 255
Till, in an hour of light and peace,
The angel-signal given,
That spirit took its ready flight
Into the upper heaven !
Then I will not repine that thou
Art where a brighter sun
Shines ever clear, and years of joy
Eternal circles run.
Farewell ! I knew thee but a short,
A transient moment here ;
We meet where death with kindred loves
Can never interfere.
As I leave this hallowed ground, I must invoke
blessings on the quiet church that guards the
company of sleepers beneath its goodly shadow.
Sacred temple of Jehovah's praise ! What
though ye rise not in stately grandeur in the
midst of the populous town or imperial city, to
inspire with costly arch, lofty column, and
storied urn, the veneration and awe of busy and
fashionable multitudes, still thy portals are conse-
crated unto truth, and thine altars unto holiness.
Thy spire points heavenward from the trees that
hold their strife with the mountain storm, and
shelter the honest villager from the melting rays
of the summer sun. And devotion findeth a
home within thee. Humble hearts, unaccus-
tomed to religious sophistries, frauds, and hollow
pretensions, here hold intercourse with the Father
256 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
of spirits, and " worship him in spirit and in
truth." Holy lessons learned by this heart with-
in thy consecrated walls, shall abide with it
forever. In joy shall they visit me with a
chastening and hallowing influence, and in trial
and sorrow with superhuman fortitude and
heavenly consolation. " For my brethren and
companions' sakes, I will now say, peace be
Can there be another place more sacred in our
recollections than the church where our first
youthful religious impressions were made and
strengthened ? Reader, bears not your spirit
witness with mine that it is even so ? Go back,
in your thoughts, to that hallowed altar. There
you first went up to worship. There the
familiar voice of some faithful minister spoke of
human means and attainments, of God's promises
and mercies. There you have heard the sinner
reproved, the virtuous encouraged, the doubting
persuaded, the mourner comforted, the faint-
hearted cheered. There went up the fervent
prayer, the sweet song, and swelling anthem,
moving the soul in its hidden depths, and bidding
it give answer to the mysterious impulses within
and around it. Often, in sweet accordance, and
with thrilling power, have these old and familiar
greetings spoken home to your heart.
BRIEF LESSONS OF A JOURNEY. 257
And they will never leave, but follow you
wherever abroad in the wide world you go.
Distance cannot eradicate them. Time and cir-
cumstance will often tend to render them more
vivid. A minister who had passed the middle
age of life, once informed me of his sensations
on a certain occasion when, in his own church,
the choir were performing a favorite tune.
While engrossed therein, he was suddenly trans-
ported back to the days of his early boyhood,
and to his seat in the old square pew of the
country church of his native town. He sat by
his reverend father's side — beheld the honored
minister in the towering pulpit — recognized
many of the faces, old and young, that on each
returning Sabbath there greeted him — heard the
choir — its leader's voice — the peculiarity of
execution — all, as in those days when they
chanted, in their favorite style, this same familiar
air. The transition seemed wonderfully real.
Such associations are indeed delighting, subdu-
ing, and holy. When they come to us, reader,
may we meet them with the blissful assurance
that our spiritual blessings in the past have lived
to accumulate others in the present, and for the
time to come ; a conviction that our early Chris-
tian Sabbaths were not spent in vain.
258 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
THE PATRIARCHAL HOME.
I am now " at home," in the mansion of an
aged patriot and Christian ; one whose early
days were given to the service of his country,
who studied freedom in the school of Hancock,
Adams, and Washington, and whose soul never
grew weary in her ways. One, too, who valued
political only as moral freedom gave it grace
and consistency. He paid his vows to the God
of nations, the equal God of all, whose word
long since announced to the world, " Righteous-
ness exalteth a nation." A Christian of too en-
larged faith to be bigoted, he can worship with
all who are duly humble, and mingle his suppli-
cations, intercessions, prayers, and giving of
thanks for all men. I love to sit at his feet and
receive instruction, knowing that too soon I shall
seek him where he cannot be found. As the
disciple of Socrates would listen to the latest
words of that venerable sage, so would I treasure
up the last sayings of this hoary-headed and
honored relic of the past.
Such homes as I here find, are the glory and
strength of our land. Were it not for them, our
national existence would waste away and fade
out frOm the earth. O that we who are young
could remember the influences which the time-
honored and faithful exert upon us ; how they
BRIEF LESSONS OF A JOURNEY. 259
bear us up, and give us strength and durability !
Blessings, then, forever, on this paternal man-
sion ! May the aged ones dwell therein all the
days of their appointed time, cheered with the
bright hopes and consolations of the gospel of
peace. May the children find here the true
home of the soul. May the children's children
after them enter its threshold with gladness and
joy, feeling that gracious spirits linger over, that
hallowed associations cluster around it ; that
here intellectual, political, and moral freedom
found an abiding place in the past, and sent out
their holy influences to live forever in the future !
A SUMMER MIDNIGHT.
The day-beams long since went out, the
evening shadows came with their sombre faces,
and now midnight reigns. A summer midnight
after a refreshing shower ! The deep thunder-
clouds have poured forth their watery treasure on
the waiting earth, and now roll away into the
distant south, and send back their farewell signs
in successive playful flashes, less and less vivid,
till far off and low in the horizon, in trembling,
effluent beauty, they expire.
But the skies above, —
" The midnight skies — grand, boundless, deep —
Halls, where the watching angels keep
The passes of eternity.
260 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
Regions mysterious and sublime,
Stretched out upon the wings of time —
Dominions of a Deity ! "
Who, at this hour, shall read them, when all is
glory, and wonder, and overwhelming greatness !
Surely, " night unto night showeth forth knowl-
edge." Yet how little of this knowledge do we,
dull mortals, acquire or retain. How little know
we of this orb on which we dwell, much less of
those myriads of worlds running their endless
rounds in the deep skies beyond us. These,
amazing as they seem, are only parts of Jeho-
vah's ways, so little a portion do we hear of him.
But we are not to forget ourselves, even in the
deepest humility which God's work inspires.
He who fills immensity, numbers the very hairs
of our heads. He who drives along the chariots
of the countless hosts of the sky, dwells with the
lowliest of his offspring on this dim earth, and
will never leave nor forsake them. Cheering
truth for time and for eternity ! Let us pray that
we realize it whenever, alone, we look out into
the midnight skies, and think first of our com-
parative nothingness, and then of our positive
connection with all that live and move in this
stupendous universe. Then may the mortal
indeed put on immortality.
BRIEF LESSONS OF A JOURNEY. 261
Time passes swiftly during a visit of enjoy-
ment, when irresistible attractions move the soul,
and teach it holy lessons of truth and love.
Such lessons have I learned
" In the deep solitudes and awful cells
Where heavenly, pensive contemplation dwells ; "
or where the cheering voices of social life keep
awake all the glad sympathies of the heart, and
make brief minutes of long hours and days.
Thus has passed the time of my sojourning ; and
now as I leave these rural retreats for the rush
and bustle of the distant throng, I go with bless-
ings unutterable on the country — its pure air,
clear skies, downy clouds, sparkling brooks, dark
forests, rich valleys, green hills, venerable moun-
tains, merry boys' shouts, and laughing girls'
voices — its beauty and grandeur, where nature
speaks with her strong voice lifted high, declar-
ing the works and wonders of the Creator of all.
Let those who partake of its gifts, pay their
holiest homage to the Giver.
The journey has ended. And this is life —
the whole of it in brief. A few shifting scenes,
a succession of sentiments, vain regrets, hallowed
recollections, real and ideal enjoyments, hopes
and raptures, and the traveller has entered the
262 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
deep valley of shadows, and we see him no
more in these walks below. Endless praise for
the assurance that we shall rejoin him in that
spirit-abode where change and regret cannot
" In that fair land upon whose flower a heavenly dew distils,
That universe, whose farthest realms an angel anthem fills,
That place where shines no sun by day, where smiles by night no
But God himself, in glory, pours one bright, eternal noon."
Beneath a slant old forest tree,
My little Lucy sat;
Her hands were dropped upon her knee,
And on her head, she wore, like me,
A rustic linen hat.
My little Lucy was a child
Of most angelic thought;
With every feeling soft and mild,
With every vision sweet and wild,
Her heart and soul were fraught.
She sat among the woodland flowers,
Among the woodland birds;
And ne'er through all the summer hours,
Was heard within those fragrant bowers
Such music as her words.
She prattled to the singing brook
That murmured through the wood,
And from each scalloped leaf that shook
Above her head, her spirit took
A more exalted mood.
264 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
She heard the wild bees' drowsy hum
Around the drooping larch,
And fancied that the fays had come,
With buglehorn and muffled drum,
To beat a funeral march.
She watched the blue-bird by the stream,
Outpouring from his breast,
The music of her own bright dream,
A warbling that to her did seem
The music of the blest.
The spangled butterfly that came
And nestled mid the grass,
What was it, but a form and name
For some sweet fancy, void of aim,
That through her soul would pass ?
She gazed upon the silent lake,
Through boughs of greenest trees,
And saw it to its bosom take
The wild swan and the yellow drake,
The sunbeams and the breeze.
She thought these things made up the sum
Of human love and life ;
And never dreamed the days would come
When nature's voices would grow dumb
Before the spirit's strife.
Ah, simple Lucy! would that fate
Had left thee that young heart!
That all who struggle to be great,
Might learn, ere yet it is too late,
To choose the better part.
S. C. E.
THE LILY OF THE VALE :
OR, THE LAST OF THE CLAN.
BY MISS C. A. FILLEBROWN.
In one of the loveliest valleys of New Eng-
land, near the environs, and yet far retired from
the noise and bustle of a city, lies the little
village of Woodvale, like a bird's nest hidden in
foliage. It would require an artist's hand to
describe its fairy-like beauty ; to paint its green,
sunny slopes, its fertile meadows, the old, wide-
spreading trees, each an arbor in itself, the neat
white cottage, and old-fashioned farmhouses, the
pretty village church with the grave-yard on one
side, and the neat, picturesque-looking parsonage
on the other, and here and there a handsome
dwelling, belonging to the worthies of the place ;
altogether, Woodvale is one of the sweetest spots
in the world ; a perfect picture of pastoral beauty.
But there is one little secluded dwelling which
a careless observer would never discern. This
is a small and very humble cottage standing in a
THE LILY OF THE VALE. 267
shady nook in a remote corner of the village,
and it is so moss-grown, that it mingles, or rather
blends with the foliage of the trees around it,
and is scarcely to be distinguished from them.
It contains four apartments, all very circum-
scribed in space, and bearing the marks of neg-
lect and desertion. Yet it was not always thus,
for very many years have not elapsed since the
little garden-plot before the door was bright with
many-hued flowers, and rare and fragrant blos-
soms graced the windows of the cottage. The
woodbine and clematis which now climb at will
over the house, or trail carelessly on the ground,
were then gracefully trained over the walls of
the cot, and filled the surrounding air with
fragrance ; and in the little parlor were books,
maps, globes, and various other articles which
bespoke the literary and scientific taste of the
occupant ; and childhood's wild, gladsome laugh-
ter made the house ring with melody.
Some twenty years ago, there came to Wood-
vale a tall, gray-haired, dignified old man, ac-
companied by a fair and blooming child, ap-
parently about four years of age. All that could
be learnt of his history or his business was, that
his name was Cameron, and that he wished to
purchase a residence in the village. The day
after his arrival, he set forth to explore the place,
268 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
and accidentally found his way to this lone spot ;
on his return to the inn, he made inquiries con-
cerning the proprietor, and having seen him, a
bargain was soon concluded, and Mr. Cameron
became the purchaser and tenant of the little
cottage. There he dwelt in quiet seclusion, en-
gaged in tilling his garden, reading, or instructing
the child ; and at the close of the long summer
days he might be seen walking slowly in the
green lane near his dwelling, while she gam-
bolled before him, and every now and then
turned, and shaking back her bright golden curls,
lifted her large blue eyes to his, as if expecting
him to join in her merriment ; or sitting at his
cottage door, with the child on his knee, her head
reposing lovingly on his shoulder, and her sweet
face upturned to meet the smile that always
beamed upon her. Every body in the village
looked with interest on that simple couple, and
longed to penetrate the mystery that hung about
them ; but the old man, though always courteous,
was yet distant and reserved, and never per-
mitted any scrutiny into his domestic affairs.
In one of the dwellings before mentioned as
superior to the rest, resided a family named Stan-
ton, consisting of a gentleman, his wife, and two
sons. Mr. Stanton had been a prosperous mer-
chant, and having acquired a handsome property,
THE LILY OF THE VALE. 269
had gratified his lady's love of the country, by
purchasing a pleasant residence in Woodvale,
while its vicinity to the city enabled him to
superintend his business there. As his affairs,
however, were in competent hands, he spent a
large portion of his time at home, and having
frequently met in his walks the recluses of the
humble cottage, he became deeply interested,
and determined to learn something more of
His advances to Mr. Cameron had never been
allowed to extend beyond a bow or smile of
recognition, but he had spoken to the child when
alone, and learnt that her name was Effie Camp-
bell, and that the old man was her grandfather ;
but he could elicit nothing farther, and had
almost given up the pursuit, when accident
brought about the result for which he had been
laboring. He was one morning crossing a
meadow belonging to his estate, which termi-
nated in a long lane intersected by a small
stream, and diverged thence into a footpath lead-
ing to the cottage of Mr. Cameron. He had
reached the lane, and was sauntering slowly
along, when he was arrested by a wild, agonized
shriek ; he paused for an instant, and another,
even wilder and more fearful, followed, and
rushing down the lane, as he reached the water,
270 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
he saw the form of a child rise to the surface,
and springing in, he caught and bore to the bank
the dripping and almost lifeless body of the little
Effie ; and his own home being nearest, thither,
with the speed of lightning, he bore her. His
kindhearted wife chafed her hands, feet, and
temples, and the usual restoratives having been
applied, the lovely child was restored to con-
sciousness, and finding herself among strangers,
earnestly entreated to be taken to her grand-
father. As soon, therefore, as her garments
were thoroughly dried, Mr. Stanton set forth with
his fair charge, but not till she had promised the
kind lady of the mansion to come to them again
whenever she was permitted.
On their arrival at their cottage, they found
Mr. Cameron so busily engaged in reading, that
he had not yet missed the child ; but when
springing into his open arms, she told her simple
story, and Mr. Stanton related the dangerous
situation in which he had found her, the old man
warmly grasped his hand, and poured forth, in
incoherent terms, his gratitude to the preserver
of his darling. The acquaintance thus com-
menced was followed up by an uninterrupted
intercourse between the families. The Stantons
had found a sure key to the old man's heart, in
their kindness and love to the child, and, in re-
THE LILY OF THE VALE. 271
turn, he lavished a large share of affection on
their sons ; and even fancied he could trace a
resemblance in the mild, serious face, and grave,
gentle manners of William, and in the bright
eyes, and fearless spirit of Harry Stanton, to two
dear boys of his own, who slept in their graves
in a far distant land.
Two years passed in this manner, and then
the old man's health began to fail ; he never
complained, but his friends soon perceived that
his eye grew dimmer, and that his step waxed
more and more feeble ; he was seldomer seen
abroad, and oftener seated in his arm-chair by
the window, poring intently over the pages of
the Holy Book, which lay outspread on the little
table before him.
At length, one morning, as Mr. Stanton and
his boys were walking down to the cottage to
pay their daily visit, they were overtaken by
little Effie, who was hastening to summon Mr.
Stanton to her grandfather. On reaching the
cottage, they found Mr. Cameron sitting up in
bed, supported by pillows ; he extended his hand
to them, and spoke in his usual cheerful tone,
but Mr. Stanton's quick eye saw that an alarming
change had taken place. When the greetings of
the day were past, Mr. Cameron turned to his
friend and whispered, " Send the children into
272 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
the garden awhile, my dear sir, for I have some-
thing to communicate to you."
The boys left the room with little Effie, and
signing Mr. Stanton to a seat beside the bed, he
continued : " I have long been wishing to speak
to you on a subject which has heretofore never
passed my lips, even in the social intercourse we
have so long enjoyed ; and you will believe me,
my dear friend, when I say that it has been with-
held from no lack of confidence or friendly feel-
ing, but rather from *a sort of diffidence and
reserve, arising from my long estrangement from
the sympathy and kindness of a fellow-being.
But now I feel that the hand of death is upon me,
and it is of my former history, and of my little
Effie, that I wish to inform you. You have
probably already inferred from my name and
accent that I am a native of Scotland ; I was the
only son of a proud and wealthy laird, nursed in
the lap of affluence, and instructed in every
branch of useful and scientific knowledge, and
my father dying soon after I attained my majori-
ty, I thus early became master of a handsome
fortune. I cannot say what habits I might have
acquired, or what evil results might have fol-
lowed this sudden change from heirship to
possession ; but in little more than a year from
that period, I had the good fortune to become
THE LILY OF THE VALE. 273
the husband of a lovely, amiable, and accom-
plished woman, whose gentle influence soon
made me a devotee at the shrine of domestic
happiness ; and when, in due time, we became
the parents of four noble boys, and a lovely little
girl, our felicity seemed complete. Year after
year flew by, and found us still rejoicing in our
unbroken circle, and, as we saw our children
growing in beauty and innocence around us, we
looked forward hopefully to the time when they
should be the solace and delight of our old age.
Alas, that we should ever rouse from dreams so
sweet, that we should build such fair castles, and
awake to find them demolished, and the dear
delusions vanished and gone ! Truly, ' in the
midst of life we are in death ! ' Our third child,
a boy of nine years, went forth to his play with
light step, and buoyant spirit, and returned at
eve, complaining of violent pains and dizziness ;
we laid him on his bed, and through the long,
long night, we sat beside him, watching his un-
easy slumbers, moistening his parched lips,
cooling his feverish brow, and listening with
feelings that parents only know, to his rapid and
fearful breathing. But our tears and prayers,
our watchings and agony, could not avert his
doom ; on the third day he lay lifeless before us,
and we left him, for whom we could do no more,
274 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
to hasten to the couch of our youngest born, the
sunny-haired boy on whose blue eyes scarce four
summers had smiled ; but why do I dwell on
this theme ? The wing of Azrael had over-
shadowed him also, and his little cold and lifeless
form was forced from the arms of his agonized
mother, to be robed in the garments of the grave.
" We gave way to uncontrolled grief and
despair; we ' refused to be comforted,' and mur-
mured at the dispensations of an all-wise Provi-
dence ; ah, better had it been for us and them,
had our other boys been summoned thus, in their
youth and innocence ! Our next affliction was
the departure of our two remaining sons, the
elder for the university, and the younger to enter
the army ; but our hearts were often gladdened
by their presence, and their joyous gayety and
frank, fearless tempers made their visits a holiday
to the whole village where we resided. Matters
continued thus for some time, and then vague
rumors began to reach us, that Edward's conduct
at the university was not just what it should be,
and that Frederick was acquiring habits that
must eventually degrade himself, and disgrace
his family. At first, we treated them lightly, and
deemed them unworthy of notice ; but as the
boys' visits grew more infrequent, and their
letters rare, our anxious hearts began to take
THE LILY OF THE VALE. 275
the alarm, and I was on the point of setting
out to inquire into the truth of the reports, when,
the night before my intended departure, I was
summoned from my bed to meet the bearer of
evil tidings. Our second son, our gay, gallant,
handsome Fred, was no more ! He had fallen,
not as became a soldier on the field of battle,
fighting in his country's defence, but in the ad-
justment of a so called affair of honor. The
night before his death, he made one of a con-
vivial party, and while heated with wine, entered
into a dispute about some trifling circumstance,
with a brother officer ; both were hot-headed and
impetuous, and high words passed, till, at length,
aggravated by something which he considered
an insult, my son struck his opponent ; a chal-
lenge was given and accepted, and Fred fell !
The messenger who brought the tidings and
accompanied the body, could give us no informa-
tion concerning our eldest son, and when the
funeral was over, at the urgent entreaty of my
almost distracted wife, I set out to visit him.
Immediately on my arrival I proceeded to his
rooms, where I found him in a truly lamentable
state. He did not attempt to deny that rumor
had spoken the truth concerning his habits, but
Fred's untimely end had so completely over-
whelmed him with horror and remorse, that I had
276 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
good hopes of his reformation. I prevailed on
him to accompany me home, and when, after
several weeks of quiet, and almost happiness, he
returned to college with our united prayers and
benedictions, we flattered ourselves that the
prodigal was reclaimed.
" For a time, all went smoothly, and we
were gradually gaining calmness and tranquil-
lity, when the distressing intelligence reached us,
that Edward, having relapsed into even worse
than his former habits, had been expelled from
college ; and alarmed and anxious, I was soon on
my way to him. I remonstrated and reproached,
I threatened and besought ; I implored him for
his own sake, for mine, and, above all, for the
sake of his poor mother, already bowed down by
sorrow and misfortune, to return to the path of
rectitude ; but threats and entreaties were alike
in vain ; he plunged into even deeper excesses,
and was familiar with every species of vice ; the
wine-cup and the gambling-table were his con-
stant resort; he squandered profusely the liberal
allowance I made him, and the immense sums
which, from time to time, I was induced, upon
various pretences, to give him, till at length
finding that his unbounded extravagance was
making rapid inroads on his patrimony, I refused
to aid him farther, and bidding him leave off
THE LILY OF THE VALE. 277
gaming, and retrench his expenses, I left him.
Before morning, I was summoned to look upon
the bleeding corpse of my first-born, and only-
surviving son ! After parting with me, he re-
paired to the gaming-table, and there risked and
lost his all ; debts of honor were crowding in
upon him, and, unable to meet the demands
against him, he had taken a deep draught, and
then rushing from the house, had sought his
rooms, and goaded onward, probably, by re-
morse and despair, had blown out his brains
with a pistol. Imagine, if you can, for I cannot
describe my horror at the sight of the wretched
suicide ; but even my sufferings, intense as they
were, seemed comparatively slight as I thought
of the anguish his poor mother would endure
when the news of this terrible misfortune should
reach her. His mangled and lifeless remains
were carried to his birth-place, to be interred in
the family vault ; and I preceded them, by a few
hours, in order to break cautiously, and by de-
grees, the dreadful news to my wife. But gently
and carefully as it was communicated, the shock
was too great for her feeble frame, and ere
many weeks had elapsed, I was widowed and
" Of the blooming circle which a few years
before gathered round my fireside, and glad-
278 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
dened my heart with their bright smiles and
cheerful voices, one alone remained to comfort
and cheer me. Never did a parent's heart re-
joice in a fairer flower of loveliness, than did
ours in the fair girl whose beauty and innocent
gayety diffused sunshine and happiness wherever
she appeared ; and as she grew to womanhood,
we had fondly looked forward to the time when
her children should supply to us, in some meas-
ure, the places of those we had lost. After her
mother's death, all my hopes and affections
centred in her, and I became even painfully
anxious concerning her future establishment.
She had numerous admirers among the proudest
and wealthiest of the land, but she uniformly
returned a firm and decided negative to every
proposal, till, at length, having refused an offer
which I considered unexceptionable, I questioned
her closely, and drew from the blushing girl the
confession that her heart had long since declared
in favor of Malcolm Campbell. I received the
information with unqualified delight, for Malcolm
was the orphan son of an old and very dear
friend, the last descendant of an ancient and
noble family, and the very man, of all others,
whom I would have chosen for the husband of
my child. Through the improvidence of his
ancestors, Malcolm had little more than his name
THE LILY OF THE VALE. 279
to boast of, but if fortune had been niggardly in
her gifts, nature had most richly supplied the
deficiency ; and the handsome, frank, and gene-
rous young Highlander had won the heart of my
fair and gentle Mary. In due time, they were
married ; continuing, however, to reside with me,
for Malcolm had promised, that while I lived,
Mary and I should not be separated. In the first
twelvemonth of their marriage little Erne was
born ; and three or four years glided so happily
by, that I began to hope my season of tribulation
was past, and that the evening of my life might
be spent in tranquillity and peace. But my cup
was not yet full.
" Towards the close of a balmy spring day, I
stood at a window, with Mary and the child,
watching for the appearance of Malcolm, who
had ridden to a town a few miles distant, on
business, and was expected to return at sunset.
We soon discovered him approaching, punctual
to the hour ; he was already within a short dis-
tance of the house, and was returning the smiling
welcome of his wife, as she waved her hand
towards him, when his horse stumbled, and the
rider was thrown several yards, his head striking
against a sharp fragment of rock. With one
dreadful cry, Mary sank senseless to the floor,
and ere she recovered her consciousness, Mai-
280 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
colm had ceased to breathe. I cannot dwell on
the fearful scenes that followed ; suffice it to say,
that three weeks from that day I was childless,
and, save my little Effie, alone in the world.
Every tie that bound me to my native land was
severed, and I finally resolved to come to Amer-
ica ; my estates passed to a distant connexion
bearing another name, and with the remainder of
my property, I embarked for this far land, and
before midsummer, became, as you know, a
denizen of your peaceful little village. During
my residence here, I have enjoyed more true
happiness than I ever thought to experience
again on earth, and have gained, I trust, a true
and faithful friend. And now that I have fin-
ished my narrative, I have a last request to
make ; I would wish to commit to the parental
care and protection of yourself and wife, the
guardianship of my darling Effie, so soon to be
left destitute of any natural protector."
" And in her name and my own, my dear sir,
do I solemnly accept the trust ; and so may God
deal by me and mine, as I faithfully discharge
my duty to her."
As Mr. Cameron finished his recital, his friend
saw that the livid hue of death was fast stealing
over his features, and hastily summoning the
children, he placed Effie by the bedside of her
THE LILY OF THE VALE. 281
grandfather ; with a strong effort, the old man
placed his withered hand on the head of the
child, and with the benediction yet on his lips,
Years passed. The little orphan, Effie Camp-
bell, grew, in her young, guileless beauty, to
womanhood, cherished by her adopted parents
with all the tenderness usually lavished on an
only and beloved daughter, and regarded with a
feeling little short of devotion by their two sons,
of whom the elder, William, a grave and serious
youth, was now acting partner in his father's
mercantile concerns, while the younger, the
fearless, dauntless Harry, had chosen a sailor's
life, and was already captain of a trim and gal-
lant vessel. Nor was her gentle influence felt
alone in the home-circle ; for her generous heart
had early prompted her to seek out the abodes of
poverty and suffering, and while her hands min-
istered to their need, her sweet voice cheered
them with words of comfort and peace, and old
or young, grave or gay, sad or light-hearted,
every body hailed with delight the presence of
sweet Effie Campbell.
Early in their acquaintance, the Stantons had
styled her the Lily of the Vale ; the villagers
soon adopted the appellation, and now she was
seldom called by any other. Well did her
282 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
graceful and delicate beauty deserve the name ;
her figure was small, and slight even to fragility ;
her complexion of that pale, snowy purity, which
the faintest tinge of color would sully ; exqui-
sitely moulded features, large, deep blue eyes,
clear and soft as a Neapolitan sky, full, rich
scarlet lips, and a voice and smile of bewitching
sweetness — conscious of her rare loveliness, yet
prizing it only because of the pleasure it afforded
her friends — modest and gentle withal, and
diffusing the rich odor of her virtues on all
around her, yet shrinking from observation, even
as the fair and fragrant flower from which she
derived her name.
I have before said that the Stantons had re-
deemed the promise given to the old man on his
deathbed, and that the Lily had been nurtured
fondly and tenderly ; and as they watched the
developement of her budding virtues and beauties,
it had long been the dearest wish of their hearts,
that the tie which now bound her to them should
be more closely cemented, and that, by a mar-
riage with one of their sons, she might become
indeed their daughter, as she had long been the
dear child of their affections. In forming this
project, their thoughts had always inclined to-
wards William, as being best suited, by his mild
and even temperament, and the gentle serious-
THE LILY OF THE VALE. 283
ness of his manners, to undertake the future
guidance and protection of the fair and fragile
Lily. That they were thus consulting her
wishes and happiness, they never, for a moment,
doubted ; for though, in their childish days, if a
shadow of preference could be discerned in her
manners towards the brothers, Harry was the
favorite, yet, as she advanced towards woman-
hood, her behavior to him became shy and re-
served, while William was her constant and
The Lily had completed her sixteenth year,
and, as yet, not a word had been breathed to
her on the subject, when a letter arrived from
William which at once overset all the long-cher-
ished plans, by announcing his intended mar-
riage with a young lady in the city, where he
resided. Never did the news of a son's betrothal
produce such consternation as filled the hearts of
Mr. and Mrs. Stanton while perusing the letter ;
and their distress was not lessened by turning
their thoughts to Effie. There was no alterna-
tive, however, but to communicate the tidings as
gently as possible ; and, with fear and trembling
the mother announced William's approaching
marriage. To her unmingled surprise, it was
received by the object of her solicitude with
sparkling eyes, and expressions of unfeigned de-
284 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
light; and in the plenitude of her joy at this
unexpected relief, Mrs. Stanton poured forth to
Effie all her past hopes, wishes, and plans.
"And so, after all, my sweet Lily of the
Vale, you must remain our daughter only by
adoption, and by and by you will be taken from
us to grace a stranger's home. What a pity that
you and William could not have loved each
other ! "
u Do not distress yourself on that account, my
more than mother," replied the Lily, as she hid
her blushing face on the shoulder of her friend ;
" but in your zeal for marrying me to William,
and your regret at the disappointment, you seem
to have forgotten that you have another son — "
" And you do love my dear, brave, gallant
sailor-boy," interrupted the delighted mother ;
" and he — O, I am sure he must love you ! "
" You have guessed aright, my dear friend.
William, with his gentle ways, quiet, kind atten-
tions, and almost faultless character, I have ever
looked up to with mingled reverence and affec-
tion, as to a beloved elder brother ; but Harry,
our daring, high-spirited, generous-hearted Har-
ry, always involved in some danger or peril,
always sacrificing his own interests to promote
that of others, and requiring constant thought
and solicitude, Mm I have loved, passionately,
THE LILY OF THE VALE. 285
devotedly as even you could wish ; I know that
it is fully and truly returned, and it wants only
the sanction of those who are nearest and dearest
to us, to make the happiness of your children
complete.'" And ere a week had elapsed, Harry
Stanton was at home, and consent and blessing
were joyfully accorded by the happy parents.
When the engagement of Harry and Effie was
first known, it was a matter of no small wonder
and surprise to the villagers, that the delicate,
shrinking Lily of the Vale should have dared to
love the wild, impetuous young sailor ; but when,
the Sabbath after his return, they were seen on
their way to church, her slight, fairy-like figure,
and pale, sweet face, admirably contrasting with
his manly person, and sunburnt, yet handsome
countenance, the lookers on retracted their opin-
ion, and pronounced them a comely and well-
Swiftly and happily sped the time while Harry
Stanton remained at home, and soon the day of
his departure came ; with full hearts and brim-
ming eyes, his friends bade him God speed ! and
he went forth once more to brave the dangers
and the perils of the sea, with the hope that
when his voyage was ended, he should return
to claim the Lily as his bride. O, how anxious-
ly were the daily journals perused by every
286 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
member of the Stanton family, and the ship
news industriously conned, to gather the slightest
tidings of the Fairy Queen and her gallant
young captain ; and when the voice of prayer
and thanksgiving arose from the domestic altar,
how earnestly was he remembered, and a bles-
sing implored to rest upon the wanderer whose
path was on the mighty deep. Once, a vessel,
returning from the port to which he sailed,
brought intelligence of his safe arrival there, and
letters to each member of the family. He wrote
in good health and high spirits ; he had had a
short and pleasant passage, and stated, that as
soon as his cargo was sold, and his vessel re-
laden, he should set out on his return, and
hoped, Providence permitting, to pass a " merry
Christmas " at home. Never had that season
been looked forward to with such joyful antici-
pation, and as the day approached, every unusual
noise brought the rich blood to the cheek of the
Lily, and made her sweet face radiant with the
light of expectation.
But the day came and passed, and yet he
came not ; a week elapsed and he made not his
appearance, and the Lily's step became listless
and heavy, the snowy purity of her cheek gave
way to a deadly paleness, her blue eyes were
rarely raised from the shadow of their dark,
THE LILY OF THE VALE. 287
drooping lashes, and she was evidently fast sink-
ing beneath the heart-sickness of hope deferred.
Another week went by, and, added to their
agonizing fears for their son, the parents were
now filled with solicitude for the fragile creature
whose life seemed to hang on the thread of his
destiny. But this dreadful suspense was at length
brought to an end, to be exchanged for the equal-
ly terrible reality.
One morning, the daily papers arrived, while
the family were at breakfast, and Mr. Stanton,
as usual, first turned to the ship news ; as he
read, his wife and Effie perceived the color for-
sake his face, and comprehending the truth at a
glance, they breathlessly implored him to termi-
nate their suspense, and tell them the worst.
With a voice rendered husky and almost unin-
telligible by emotion, he read the following para-
graph : Lost, in a tremendous storm and
gale, December 1st, on her passage home-
ward, the brig Fairy Queen, Capt. Stanton.
All on board perished ! The vessel which
brought the melancholy news had been near the
Fairy Queen when she foundered, but was un-
able to render her the slighest assistance ; she
had barely escaped the same fate herself, with a
loss of spars, rigging, &c, and had returned in
a deplorable state, wholly unfit for service.
288 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
During the reading of that fatal paragraph,
Effie Campbell had sat there, looking more like
a marble statue than a thing of life ; but as the
last words rang in her ears, her unnatural calm-
ness deserted her, and with a cry of anguish, she
sank to the floor in a long and deathlike swoon.
When consciousness returned, she found herself
on the bed in her own little room, with her
adopted parents on one side, and the doctor and
minister, who had both known and loved her
from childhood, on the other ; instantly the cause
of her illness returned to her mind, and wildly
glancing round, she exclaimed, " Then it was
not a dream, and my Harry is drowned — dead
— and I shall never see his face again ! " and
covering her eyes with her hands, a copious
burst of tears relieved her surcharged heart.
They let her grief have its way, and when its
first violence had subsided, and the silence was
only broken by the low, stifled sobs of Effie and
the bereaved parents, the deep, sonorous voice
of the gray-haired minister was heard, saying,
" The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away ;
blessed be the name of the Lord." Then kneel-
ing by the bedside, he prayed deeply and fer-
vently that this bereavement might be sanctified
and blessed to every member of that mourning
family ; and they arose from their knees resigned
THE LILY OF THE VALE. 289
and soothed, for the peace of God had entered
With a spirit chastened and subdued, Effie
Campbell returned to the usual routine of duties
and employments, and a stranger who had
looked on her fair, meek face, would never have
dreamed that sorrow had cast a shadow over
it ; but when the balmy spring opened, and all
nature seemed reviving, the beautiful Lily began
to droop. She uttered no complaint, and the
watchful eye of love could alone have discerned
the change ; but who that knew her, did not love
sweet Effie Campbell ? Mrs. Stanton soon saw
with grief and alarm that her movements grew
languid and feeble, and her graceful figure al-
most shadowy in its proportions, while the light,
silvery laugh that had been wont to fall like
music-notes on the ear, was now seldom, if ever
heard ; and the villagers, when she passed their
dwellings, shook their heads and whispered to
each other, that the Lily of the Vale was fading
fast ! Still she was never missed from her ac-
customed haunts ; her rambles were taken as
usual, she was constant at church and Sabbath
school, her daily visits to the sick and poor were
never suspended, and often, as the season ad-
vanced, she might be seen in some green,
shady place, surrounded by a group of smiling
290 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
children, gathering the dewy spring flowers and
twining them into wreaths and boquets for her
But though she thus strove to appear un-
changed to her friends, the Lily had long known
and felt that she was dying, and her spirit already
yearned to throw off its earthly fetters, and soar
untrammeled to the world of light, there to bask
in the eternal sunshine which streams in cloud-
less glory from the throne of the living God !
Her birth-day was now at hand, the bright,
balmy first of June, and early in the morning, a
group of village girls were seen wending their
way towards her dwelling, the foremost bearing a
crown of roses, and the others laden with boquets
of flowers, a simple and graceful offering to the
sweet Lily of the Vale. When they reached the
house, the family were awaiting her appearance
at the breakfast-table, and Mrs. Stanton went to
summon her. She called her name, but no
answer was returned, and alarmed, she scarce
knew why, she entered the chamber, and found
Effie seated at the open window over which
Harry had trained a profusion of white roses and
the starry jasmine, and the room was filled with
their delicious perfume. Again the mother
spoke, and then she bent her ear to the mouth of
the apparently sleeping girl ; but her sleep was
THE LILY OF THE VALE. 291
that from which there is no awaking, and there
she sat with upturned face, the long dark lashes
drooping over the marble cheek, her lips slightly
apart, and a smile of unutterable sweetness play-
ing about them, as if her last thoughts had been
soothing and pleasant. The Bible lay open on
her knee, one hand was beneath it, and the other
rested on the outspread page ; her thin, transpa-
rent finger pointing to the words of the mourning
monarch of Israel, " I shall go to him, but he
shall not return to me ; " between the leaves lay
the paragraph containing the news of Harry's
death, and beside it, a lock of his hair, which she
had severed the day before his last departure.
Her last thoughts had been of him, her last
hope that of a reunion with him. Before night,
the Lily of the Vale was in her coffin ; she was
too pure and beautiful to dwell longer amid the
grosser things of earth, and her heavenly Father
had transplanted her, in all her innocence and
beauty, to the gardens of Paradise, where the
flowers never wither or fade.
Should chance ever lead you, fair reader, to
the village of Wood vale, do not leave it till you
have visited its pretty, quiet little grave-yard ;
and there, in a remote and pleasant corner, on a
grassy knoll, and half hidden by the long, droop-
ing branches of a graceful willow, stands a plain,
292 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
but elegant monument of white marble, bearing
on one side an inscription to the memory of him
whose bones lie whitening in the caves of ocean,
and, on the other, a simple tribute to the last
of the Clan — the sweet Lily of the Yale.
THE CONNECTICUT VALLEY,
BY - J. G. ADAMS.
[The annexed engraving, from a painting by Mr. Burt, represents
a landscape of the Connecticut river valley. Time, morning. It is
a picture of the quiet and beautiful in mountain and river scenery.
The grouping of the forest trees, the array of the smaller foliage, the
still stream, the distant hills, the light mist going up from the valley
and leaving the mountain top, all give a rich and glowing life to the
whole. It is a genuine New England " forest sanctuary," where
the soul of genius, the lover of nature's truth and beauty, may be
fined with sacred thoughts, and enjoy holy communings.]
Morning with nature ! far and near
Stream out the mellow, golden rays
Of summer light ; and beauty here
Hath touched each thing on which we gaze.
What inspiration ! Fain would I
Awake my spirit-minstrelsy.
Morning among the joyous hills,
And down the teeming valley, where
From silver streams and crystal rills
Flows old Connecticut, as fair
As when of yore the red man rude
First wandered in its solitude.
294 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
Round mossy cliff and woody height
Float the soft mists in melting day,
Frail spirits of the stricken night,
Breathing their airy life away.
The distant hills, yet crowned with dew,
Look forth in their bright robes of blue.
The very trees are glad; they raise
Their plumed heads to the bending skies
And vine and shrub are rife with praise
From nature's forest melodies ;
And mid them, harken ! through the dell
Sound the fall horn and village bell.
" God made the country ; " yes, he made
This home of light, and sheds around
On summit, shore, in leafy glade,
Enchantments of a holy ground ;
He made it freedom's temple, where
Her sons may offer constant prayer.
Mid castles breathing stern farewells,
Where blendings of all beauties shine,
And ruin ever greenly dwells,
The muse of the exulting Rhine
May fondly sing; * be mine this stream
Where loved New England's glories beam.
* Childe Harold, Canto III.
THE CONNECTICUT VALLEY. 295
Its ancient hero-shades appear
Not in mailed pomp, the world to awe;
"With justice armed, their battle here
Was waged in freedom's holy war.
Their deeds shall live, though Europe sings
Her dirge o'er thousand warrior kings.
Its castles are our homes of love;
Its banner-towers our craggy steeps,
Where toiling health and beauty move,
And Truth its sleepless vigil keeps;
Its guardian hosts, myriads of well
Armed hearts, of power invincible !
Flow on, bright river ! from thy source
Among the highland founts afar,
And while rejoicing in thy course,
May morning sun and evening star
Look down, and ever at thy side,
See life, and strength, and peace abide !
THE POET'S MISSION.
BY E. H. CHAPIN.
I have been reading some of Tennyson's
poems, and a recent volume by Bryant. Our
Annual is not the place for a critique, if I were
disposed to frame one, and I am not. Suffice it
to say, that in style, these two writers are widely
different. The one is clear, calm, deep-flowing,
like the rivers he loves to describe. The other is
quaint, enigmatic, suggestive ; he speaks some-
what in the manner of the new school, and deals
with subtle movings of the soul. Yet both these
men are Poets, — true poets. There is nothing
lack-a-daisical, nothing frothy or jingling even in
their lighest strains. There is no perverted and
scorching passion, there are no inuendoes, such
as you will find in Suckling or Herrick, in
scores of the old, and in some of the modern
poets. They breathe pure air ; their sentiment
comes from hearts that we would welcome at
our firesides and altars, in our dearest associa-
tions, assured that they would shed no blight
the poet's mission. 297
upon the sanctities of home. They are thought-
ful and truthful men.
And now, we are ready to ask, is not every
genuine poet thus truthful 7 Must not this be an
essential characteristic, — truth-speaking ? Yea,
for he is interpreted by the universal heart, and
it is the Truth which he sets forth, either as
Teacher, Discoverer, or Prophet ; it is his Truth
which takes hold of the soul, causes him to be
read, gives him a world-renown, and canonizes
his ashes. How often must it be said that the
hue, the drapery, the sparkling word and the
embroidered rhyme, are not poetry ? These
may make smooth reading, and, peradventure,
pleasant music. But Poetry is the utterance of
Truth — deep, heartfelt Truth. The true poet is
very near the Oracle. He communes with " the
mystery of the universe," discerns the grand
Fact that lies behind all manifestations, and, as
he may, delivers it to the world. He may,
perhaps, speak vaguely — in fragments — seem
half-crazed with the burden of his mission.
His words may gush out from his heart like
waves of fire, tossed and broken, yet deep and
full of meaning. This, it may be thought, can-
not always be avoided. Poetry is a gift, lan-
guage is an art. The one is the spontaneous
moving of the soul, the other is a human work,
298 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
gradually and systematically framed. The
words, then, may not always be at hand; the
Idea may be born naked, before the vesture is
ready — may outstrip the vehicle. But let no
man mistake. This vagueness, this hieroglyphic
writing, is by no means a certain manifestation
of the true poet. In our whole land, where will
you find one sweeter and truer than Bryant ?
Yet his words are all choice, pure, measured.
No straining is necessary to get at his meaning,
— it is all crystallized in his verse. But we have
spoken as we have, that the true poet may not
be dishonored, though he come in an uncouth
dress, though he speak sometimes in shadowy
and broken language. We repeat, he is very
near the oracle, — his mission is to discern and
to speak truth.
The Poet's Mission ! It is a great one. His
is no mere ornamental life ; his verses are not
for albums, and gilt-edged books, to lie upon our
centre-tables, and be read when we are indolent,
and want light reading. We have said his
function is to speak the Truth. There is a
Truth in every thing; no movement, no mani-
festation is utterly a lie. It is based upon, or
involves a fact, and were that fact known and
acted upon, the world would be wiser and hap-
pier. We are engirt with falsehoods, penetrated
the poet's mission. 299
and bound by them. It is falsehood that the
world groans and travails under. It is falsehood
that humanity grapples with, grimly and doubt-
fully, in its progress. There is falsehood in our
motives and acts, falsehood in society, falsehood
in our interpretations of nature and Revelation.
What do we need, then? What must we have,
in order to be free and truthful ? We need men
who shall rise, and preach, and sing, and toil, to
show us the truth, to strip off the cerements of
error, to call us to duty, to encourage our hopes,
to deliver us from our wrongs, to nerve us to our
labor, and to the accomplishment of our destiny.
And the poet is one of these missionaries.
His speech is for the human heart, in all its cir-
cumstances, toiling, bleeding, scarred, and sor-
rowful, crushed by sin and oppression, working
out blindly its destiny. From the mountain-top
where he has sat in the kindlings of the morning,
— from the watch-tower where he has gazed
into the serene, far heaven, — from the forests
where he has communed with nature and with
God, the poet comes forth into the dusty,
trampled highway, the great mart of human life ;
he mingles with the rushing crowd, the various,
anxious faces, the selfish striving, the hollow
friendships, the dry-husk religion of the world.
He is not made to be a hermit, a solitary man,
300 THE HOSE OF SHARON.
committing snatches of verse to the air, and
tuning his soul to wind-harps. From the lonely
truth, he comes to the many-faced reality — from
the solitary communion, to the eager, blended,
crowded, e very-day multitude. He comes thus
and speaks ; speaks in warm, sweet, or trumpet-
tones ; speaks to the desolate and mourning,
speaks to the clogged ear and the calloused
heart ; touches some chord that yet lives, and
that none but the poet can reach. And the
human heart recognizes him, the universal heart.
It matters but little in what language his thought
was originally clothed. Written among the
banks and braes of bonny Scotland, it shall thrill
some woodman's heart in our distant West;
penned in a garret, amid the wretchedness of
poverty and starvation, it shall lead men to build
and garnish a tomb to his memory. The poor
shall love the poet, the blessed, pious poor ; the
sick heart shall feel a new pulse when he
breathes, and the noble yet scorned mind shall
know that there is a kindred spirit in the world ;
the universal soul is moved, the sensualist gives
signs of life, the mourner dries his tears, the
bowed serf takes courage and looks forward, the
hoary sinner trembles, or melts, old error ap-
pears bald and hideous, tyrants shake, thrones
totter, fetters snap asunder, and the whole mass
the poet's mission. 301
of humanity is stirred, as the waters are stirred
by the rushing of a swift wind.
Is not the poet's mission a great one, then,
inasmuch as it is a mission of truth ? Is he not
a laborer for human good, an agent of human
progress ? As such, is he not to be welcomed
and honored ?
But there is one other aspect of the true poet
in his mission, which we would now consider.
He is to speak the truth ; how is he to speak it ?
In what manner, with what motive shall he ad-
dress the universal heart ? Shall he be a grim
messenger, enveloped in darkness — a prophet of
denunciation and wrath ? Shall he see through
fearful eyes, and look upon an horizon blood-red
and cloudy ? No ! He must speak the truth in
Love. He must be hopeful and affectionate.
He must sympathize with humanity in all its
phases, beneath all its rags and its scars ? Else
how shall he speak to it ? how shall he care to
speak to it ? He cannot have communion with
man in all his wants and all his frailties, until he
knows man ; he cannot know man until he loves
him. Other knowledge he may have, but with-
out communion with man, without the knowledge
of human love, it is all cheerless and barren. It
is a glorious thing to know. We must admire
the mind that scales the universe, and reads the
302 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
stars. What a privilege is that, to stand upon
the highest limit of human research and look off
into the infinite — to hear even there the music
that swells through its upper deeps ! To measure
the distance of a star, to know the track of
a comet, to read the subtle laws of mind, to re-
veal the very soul of matter, to rend the hoary
secret from the ocean and the rock ! And
yet what is it all, unaccompanied with warm
and generous love to man ? What is it to us
that we lock this knowledge in our bosoms, and
bolt it with bolts of ice, and pass our brethren
with stern and frowning brows, and think at
heart that they are beneath us ? What is all this
knowledge to us, then ? Nothing. We are
solitary men. We have not yet learned the
mystery of things, with all our knowledge. We
know not what it is that makes the earth so glad,
and that looks out from heaven in the brightness
of a star. We know not what warm currents
there are in the human heart, how pleasant is
that mingling with men, how like an instrument
of music is the human voice, how like a ray of
hope is the human eye, how confident and glad
we may be made by the grasp of an honest
hand. Shut up a student with his books and his
instruments. Let the sickly lamp-light fall late
upon his brow, and the day-star find him at his
the poet's mission. 303
work. Let him read the heavens awhile — let
him scan the deep-laid earth — let him, by a
cunning alchemy, extort the secrets of nature.
How soon will the heart become weary with this !
How soon will the brain ache ! And he will
exclaim, " O, leave me not alone with Knowl-
edge ! Let me have communion with beings
like myself." Shall he live thus isolated ? Shall
he have no kind voice of love, no word of
cheer ? Shall he walk out among the homes of
men, and see how deep and strong is the power
of human affection ; shall he see it standing by
the bridal-altar, watching with its pale brow over
the sick couch, and leaning for support upon the
bosom of friendship ; shall he see it carolling
around the hearth-stone and threshold, breathed
in the remembrances of prayer, laid upon the
head in parental blessing, and sitting on the
green grave, unchanged and undying ; and look
upon it all with a cold, hard eye, feel that he has
no communion with it, that he knows it not, that
it cares not for him ? O ! from every fibre of
that isolated soul, from every deep place of that
heart, must come the rebuke, " Though thou hast
the gift of prophecy, and understandest all mys-
teries, and all knowledge, yet having not Love,
thou art nothing."
So the true poet possesses something more
304 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
than truth, or knowledge, which is based upon
truth. He must commune with that of which
truth is the going-forth, or utterance — the spirit
that lies behind all — which is Love. Moved by
this, must he speak. And it is the possession of
this that will distinguish his speech from mere
scientific disclosure, or logical induction. It is
this love that gives to his utterance its lyrical
character, that makes it break in measure, and
flow in music. It is this that causes him to be
welcomed by the universal soul, and remembered
when he is dead. The breathings of a fierce
scorn, the denunciations of a disappointed genius,
the dejected and bitter sentiments of a misan-
thropy, affected or real, — these are not the ele-
ments of true poetry, they are not what we
cherish, what we admire ; if the name of him
who uttered them is left to the future, it is for
something noble, something generous, that ac-
companied them, and that was manifested with
or below them. Not that the true poet will
never be indignant ; he will, he must be. He,
looking below the surfaces of things, discovers
the hollow formalities, the sickening professions,
and the deep selfishness and sinfulness that lie
under them. When hypocrisy stands like a
whited sepulchre, — when demagogueism grins,
and bows, and cheats, — when tyranny reigns
the poet's mission. 305
under the form of law, — when pride rolls by in
its gilded chariot, and want stretches out its
withered hand unnoticed, — when the pampered
few batten on the toiling million, — when right is
not, and wrong is, the poet will, I say, must be,
indignant ; must speak out in tones like thunder.
But, even then, it will be the sin, more than the
sinner, that he will denounce ; the words of re-
buke and warning will be accompanied by a
pitying eye and a loving heart.
The utterance of Truth in the spirit of Love.
This, then, is the Poet's Mission. This makes
poetry. Our age is full of such lyrics, written
on a grand scale, played upon all the strings of
the human heart. Every noble reform around
us is a procession, an outpealing of such sublime
poetry. And the true poet of our age is he who
sets the key-note, or becomes the voice, or ex-
pression, of this spirit of the times. The chains
of sixty centuries are breaking ; the veils of
night-like ages are rent in sunder, and far
through opening valleys rich with the nodding
harvest, and far over lofty hill-tops glad with
the rising morning, comes the great march of
humanity set to triumphal music. And the
true poet sees, and feels, and. imhodies this
mighty movement. He discerns below all su-
perficialities ; he overlooks all temporal and false
306 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
landmarks; he speaks to the spiritual and the
unseen in man, as one who chiefly values that,
and loves it ; he speaks to the world-wide race as
one who has hope for it, and says, " Rejoice ! "
Many such poets of our time, we trust there
are ; not all speaking in verse, not all using the
measured cadence of rhyme, but all, with expan-
sive minds and generous hearts, speaking the
Truth in Love.
Enough, if we add that the true poet, he who
would feel thus warmly, and speak thus truly,
must know Christianity, must drink from its clear
and living waters. There, only, is the highest
manifestation and the real union of truth and
love. Partaking of that sentiment, with the
throbbings of genius in the soul, a man shall be
a true poet, and fulfil the poet's mission. He
shall be a Teacher. He shall draw from all
things a blessed instruction. Like Bryant, he
shall give us a noble " Thanatopsis ; " shall show
us all earth for our tomb, all nature, with its
pomp and procession of beauty, for our death-
chamber. Like Tennyson, he shall struggle for
us with the " Two Voices " of skepticism and
faith, and give triumph to the latter. He shall
be a Discoverer. In rude and common things
he shall open a soul-like fact, some harmony and
beauty that the careless eye has never seen.
the poet's mission. 307
And he shall be a Prophet. On the outer limits
of our vision he shall stand, discerning what yet
shall be. In the clangor of the conflict he shall
hear the shouts of victory ; through the veil of
the twilight he shall behold the golden coming
of the morning ; at his side shall stand Love,
with her heaped but bloodless trophies, and at
his right hand Hope shall lean upon her anchor,
and look serenely into the Future.
MY IDIOT BROTHER.
BY D. B. HARRIS.
All day long he sits in his chair,
And sways him. to and fro;
Upon his brow is writ no care,
And tears — they never flow;
His merry laugh rings out at morn,
Like the robin's note from yonder thorn.
He cannot understand why tears
Course down his mother's cheek,
While she, with anxious hopes and fears,
Attempts to make him speak;
It cannot be ; words will not come.
Poor idiot brother ! he is dumb.
I Ve sat and watched him by., the hour,
When sunlight bathed the earth,
And gazed with him on many a flower
Just bursting into birth,
And wished he knew as well as I,
That flowers all blossom but to die.
MY IDIOT BROTHER. 309
And when there comes a cloudy day,
And storms beat on the pane,
He '11 list and look, but cannot say.
He loves to hear it rain.
Poor idiot boy ! he cannot feel
The shower's sweet music o'er him steal.
With patient eye he sits and looks
Far out upon the sky,
And down upon the babbling brooks
That dance beneath his eye;
But neither brooks nor sky have given
His soul a taste of future heaven.
Ah ! knows he what it is to live ?
He never heaves a sigh ;
He has no burning tears to give
To those who grieve or die ;
His days are all filled up with joy 3
And yet we cry, — poor idiot boy !
TOUCH NOT THE FLOWERS,
BY MES. C. W. HUNT.
; O, do not pluck the flowers ; they are sacred to the dead.'"
Touch not the flowers, the cherished flowers,
The festal gifts of summer hours ;
They 're holy things ; they bloom to shed
A glad'ning radiance round the dead ;
Their glowing cups and sweet perfume
Dissolve the shadows of the tomb;
'T was no vain love, — the love that gave
Their vernal freshness to the grave.
The snowy marble's sculptured height,
May seem to thee a prouder sight.
And ye may read in language fair,
High names and deeds emblazoned there ;
But can its gorgeous splendor vie
With the imperial lily's die ?
Its shrine a purer record be
Of all that binds the lost to thee?
TOUCH NOT THE FLOWERS. 311
Touch not the flowers; we know not death
Amid their loveliness ; each wreath
That floats upon the summer gale
Bears sad'ning tones from sorrow's wail;
O ! can ye mark their bloom, nor feel
The truth their bursting buds reveal,
That earth her sacred trust must yield,
Whether from bower or tented field?
There, where yon simple daisy rears
Its smiling head, with many tears
They laid a fair young bride to rest ;
Touch not the flower her love hath blest ;
Within its clustering petals lie
Memories and hopes that cannot die ;
Her spirit o'er its leaves hath shed
A life that animates the dead.
How vain the costly pile to rear
O'er those who scorned such trappings here ;
Swift time, with strong, o'ermastering power
Prostrates high tomb, and lowly flower ;
But summer's breathings shall renew
The rose's bloom, the violet's hue;
Not so the carved and fretted stone —
It springs no more ; its glory 's gone.
312 THE ROSE OF SHARON.
Touch not the flowers ; O, can there be.
Childhood, a holier type of thee?
A fitter image of thy doom
Than the wild floweret's transient bloom?
Let the pure sculpture gleam for him
Before whose breath the world grew dim,
But spare to purity the shrine
Upspringing by a hand divine.
Touch not the flowers; the fervent prayer.
Poured o'er the erring slumberer there,
On incense pinions shall arise,
With blissful chastenings to the skies.
God speaks in every glorious hue,
Bright words of promise unto you;
O'er all his healing love he sheds;
Touch not the flowers. They are the dead's.
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